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Weekly Market Wrap: April 17, 2014
The Online Investor - Thu., Apr. 17, 4:51 PM

The sixteenth trading week of 2014 comes to a close with US Markets sharply slightly higher in mid-afternoon trading. US Markets are closed tomorrow for the Good Friday holiday.

Big names such as General Electric, Micron Technology, Zynga and among the leaders on the day.

Hi. I'm Sayoko Murase. Welcome to the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for April 17, 2014.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are all significantly higher for the week.

Crude oil futures are higher this week, trading at $104.14 per barrel on Thursday afternoon.

And Gold futures are significantly lower, trading at $1294.28 an ounce on Thursday afternoon.

In economic news, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.2 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in the shelter and food indexes accounted for most of the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The food index increased 0.4 percent in March, with several major grocery store food groups increasing notably. The energy index, in contrast, declined slightly in March as decreases in the gasoline and fuel oil indexes more than offset increases in the indexes for electricity and natural gas.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for March 2014 - Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000. This is 2.4 percent below the revised February rate of 1,014,000, but is 11.2 percent above the March 2013 estimate of 890,000. Single-family authorizations in March were at a rate of 592,000; this is 0.5 percent above the revised February figure of 589,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 370,000 in March.

Privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000. This is 2.8 percent above the revised February estimate of 920,000, but is 5.9 percent below the March 2013 rate of 1,005,000. Single-family housing starts in March were at a rate of 635,000; this is 6.0 percent above the revised February figure of 599,000. The March rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 292,000.

In the week ending April 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 304,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 from 300,000 to 302,000. The 4-week moving average was 312,000, a decrease of 4,750 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since October 6, 2007 when it was 302,000. The previous week's average was revised up by 500 from 316,250 to 316,750.

In corporate dividend news, The Board of Directors of The Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW) announced a regular quarterly dividend of $0.55 per common share, payable on May 30, 2014, to shareholders of record on May 16, 2014.

Morgan Stanley (MS) increased its quarterly dividend to $0.10 per share from $0.05 per share, payable on May 15, 2014 to common shareholders of record on April 30, 2014.

The Goldman Sachs Group declared a dividend of $0.55 per common share to be paid on June 27, 2014 to common shareholders of record on May 30, 2014.

CSX approved a 7 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend to $0.16 per share, payable on June 13, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 28, 2014. This announcement builds on 11 increases over the past 8 years, representing a 20 percent compound annual growth rate during that time.

This is the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for Thursday, April 17, 2014. Please join us on Monday for the Week Ahead Market Report.

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