Economic Journal - Tuesday, 2/21/2017Submitted by Miller Financial Group, LLC on February 21st, 2017
The markets have resumed their path toward record territory after the holiday weekend. On Friday, the Dow closed out the week by reaching a record close for a seventh consecutive session and today it seems to be heading for an eighth consecutive record session. In early trading, the Dow is up 0.4% to a level of 20,708 points and the S&P500 is also pushing 0.4% in the green. In economic news, data released this morning on U.S. manufacturing and service sectors revealed that both of those sectors slowed down in February. The Markit flash U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to a seasonally adjusted reading of 54.3 from 55 in January. This was a two month low for both of these indices. Even with the drop, the readings are still in the range that indicates that the economy is growing. In Europe, the preliminary composite PMI reports for February out of the Eurozone have been better than expected and reached the highest level in nearly six years. Earnings season is winding down and the news is good with Walmart and Home Depot topping earnings estimates for the December quarter. Oil prices continue to rise which is being linked to OPEC supply cut compliance. In the early going, oil is up nearly 2% trading at $54.42/barrel. Markets in Europe are in the green while results in Asia are mixed.