U.S. Economy

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Economists Point to Weather as U.S. Home Sales Disappoint

Existing home sales took another nosedive in January, hitting an 18-month low. The National Association of Realtors(NAR) said Friday that sales dropped 5.1 percent on the month, to an annual rate of 4.62 million units. Economists blamed the disappointing numbers on cold winter weather and rising mortgage rates, although a close look at the data suggest these factors do not account entirely for the recent weakness in housing.

All Eyes On Federal Reserve as January Jobs Report Disappoints

Economists are scratching their heads today after the January non-farm payrolls report came in weaker than expected. The subpar report is reigniting debate over whether the Federal Reserve should continue winding down its stimulus program.

U.S. employers created just 113,000 jobs last month, far less than the 180,000 consensus estimate on Wall Street. The report follows tepid December job gains of only 75,000. Recent weakness in the jobs data stands in stark contest to numbers released last fall, when job creation was above 200,000 per month.

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Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher Concerned by Beer Goggle Economy

Dallas Federal Reserve president Richard Fisher, never one to shy away from colorful metaphors(he recently called bond market traders ‘feral hogs’), caused a stir this week when he quoted well-known analyst Peter Boockvar:

“. . . QE(quantitative easing) puts beer goggles on investors by creating a line of sight where everything looks good . . .”

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