Breakfast Bites: While Greece remains an underlying theme to this market, stocks got a boost this morning on some good domestic economic news, but the move has been held somewhat in check thanks to the possible downgrade of global banks by Moody’s.
- Weekly jobless claims posted a surprising drop of 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, according to the Labor Department, falling to its lowest level in almost four years.
- The Producer price index posted its largest gain in six months, rising 0.4 percent in January, after increasing 0.3 percent in December
- Housing starts gained more than expected, climbing to 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 699,000 units in January signaling the residential real estate market was stabilizing
- Moody's warned that it may cut the ratings of 17 global and 114 European financial institutions because of more fragile funding conditions and increased regulatory burdens.
- Consumer confidence in the U.S. increased for a 4th straight week to reach the highest level in a year as more households believe the economy is improving
- U.S. February Philadelphia Fed Factory Index increased to 10.2 vs. 7.3 the prior period