Stocks made a modest move higher to round out the week.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,323.0 (+58.8, +0.3%)
- S&P 500: 1,857.6 (+8.5, +0.4%)
- Nasdaq: 4,155.7, (+4.5, +0.1%)
And now the top stories:
- It was a pretty slow news day. And the scheduled economic reports were basically right in line with expectations.
- Personal income and spending each climbed by 0.3% month over month in February, which was exactly what economists were expecting. February's core PCE — the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation — rose 0.1% month over month, or 1.1% year over year.
- The University of Michigan's consumer confidence index fell to 80.0 in March from 81.6 in February. "37% of respondents reported that their financial situation was better compared with a year ago, which was the same percentage that reported it was worse; still, more than twice as many consumers (33%) expected an improving financial situation in the coming year than expected a worse one (16%)," noted Barclays' Cooper Howes. " Only 15% of respondents expected unemployment to decline in the coming year, the softest reading since 2011; that said, the unemployment rate has fallen 3.3 percentage points since its peak even though no more than 30% of consumers have expected declines at any point during that time. "
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