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Pence Wealth Management Financial Markets Report

US FINANCIAL MARKET

  • U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday as comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled the Ukraine crisis won’t immediately escalate.
    • Putin ordered troops back to their bases, easing fears of a possible war in the region. The MSCI All-Country World Index increased 1.1 % and Russia’s Micex Index climbed 5.3 % after $55 billion was erased from the value of the country’s equities yesterday.
  • Qualcomm raised its share repurchase authorization by $5 billion to $7.8 billion. The world’s biggest cellphone chip maker also raised its cash dividend by 20 % to 42 cents per share. Current dividend yield is now at 1.7 %.
  • Apple said CFO Peter Oppenheimer would retire at the end of September.
    • Oppenheimer joined Apple in 1996 and has been CFO since 2004. Oppenheimer, who was named to the board of Goldman Sachs on Monday, said he would use some of his free time to complete his pilot’s license. Apple had about $160 billion cash at the end of 2013.
  • Dish reached a groundbreaking agreement to carry Walt Disney programming, gaining rights to offer Disney, ABC and ESPN shows over the Web in addition to its satellite pay-TV service. With the Disney agreement, Dish customers will have access to shows via televisions, smartphones, tablets, game consoles and other connected devices.
  • P&G Studies ‘Pee Points’ to Maintain Edge in Diaper Wars.
    • The research is designed to protect the Pampers brand, P&G’s biggest, and maintain a technological edge over generic diaper makers and Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies. P&G is constantly seeking new ways to extend a brand that generated more than $10 billion in sales last fiscal year, or about 12 % of revenue.
  • U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans rejects BP appeal over Gulf spill losses. The appeals court decision is a setback for BP’s effort to limit payments. BP has so far provisioned $42.7 billion to pay for cleanup, compensation, legal and other costs related to the spill.
  • Chevron won a U.S. judge’s ruling that a multibillion-dollar pollution judgment issued in Ecuador was procured by fraud, making it less likely that plaintiffs will succeed in collecting the $9.5 billion award from the company. Chevron was ordered to pay $19 billion to a group of farmers and fishermen by the Ecuadorean court. The award was reduced to $9.5 billion on Nov. 12 by the Ecuadorean National Court of Justice, the nation’s highest tribunal.

US ECONOMY & POLITICS

  • U.S. factory activity rebounded last month from an eight-month low and consumer spending increased more than expected in January. Both ISM and PMI numbers showed yesterday that manufacturing activities were strong.
  • The Labor Department will release its February jobs report this Friday. Economists estimate employers increased the pace of hiring to 150,000 workers after adding 113,000 in January, according to a Bloomberg survey.
  • Los Angeles is poised to join New York and Chicago in banning the use of electronic cigarettes in workplaces, restaurants and many public areas, threatening the growth of an industry segment that reached $1.5 billion in sales last year. California has restricted conventional tobacco products since 1995. E-cigarettes are projected to represent about $1.8 billion of the $80 billion U.S. tobacco market this year, according to research by Bonnie Herzog.

EUROPE & WORLD

  • Automakers Cautiously Upbeat in Geneva as Europe Recovers:
    • Deliveries in Europe last year totaled 12.3 million autos (or 1.2 %). The ACEA industry group is predicting European deliveries will rise 2 % in 2014.
    • Toyota Motor expects to sell more than 865,000 vehicles in Europe this year, up from 847,530 in 2013. Toyota still targets sales in the region of 1 million by 2015.
  • BMW is considering building a new factory to meet growing demand for its premium cars. BMW, the world’s biggest maker of luxury autos, said today in Geneva it plans to sell more than 2 million cars and SUVs this year.
  • Mercedes-Benz, the top-selling luxury-auto brand in the U.S. last year, extended its 2014 lead with record February sales on the strength of new models. The Daimler unit sold 22,609 vehicles last month, a gain of 2.6 % from a year earlier.
    • BMW sold 22,017 vehicles in the US last month, while Toyota’s Lexus sold 18,855 vehicles. GM’s Cadillac reported 13,437 vehicle sales and Audi said it sold 10,881 vehicles.
  • Japan’s salaries increased for the first time in almost two years in January as companies boosted pay for part-timers. Base pay excluding bonuses and overtime rose 0.1 % from a year earlier.

TODAY in HISTORY

  • The Constitution of the United States went into effect (1789)
  • Vermont became the 14th state in the United States (1791)
  • Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as president (1861)
  • Frances Perkins, appointed Secretary of Labor, became first woman to serve in the Cabinet (1933)

Sources: Reuters, Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, Bloomberg, CNN Money.

This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is being made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should be used only as general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth in the material may not develop as predicted. All indices, such as the S & P 500, are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. 

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