3/5 Economic Update

HEADLINES Gains in consumer spending, durable goods orders & Institute for Supply Management index decline, home prices slip but sales contracts increase, S&P500 & NASDAQ advance while DOW DJIA has a flat week.

WEEKLY QUOTE "We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated." - Maya Angelou

WEEKLY TIP Beware of being too risk-averse when it comes to planning retirement income. Some retirees have portfolios so conservative that their incomes struggle to keep pace with inflation.

WEEKLY RIDDLE Two fathers and two sons shopped for computers at their local big box retailer. Each bought a PC, yet they bought only three PCs total. How could this be?

Last week's riddle: Name the three English-language three-letter words that begin and end with the letter E.

Last week's answer: Eve, ewe and eye.

THIS WEEK: Monday, ISM releases its February service sector index and we get Census Bureau data on January factory orders. Tuesday offers Q4 earnings from Dick's Sporting Goods and Pandora Media. Wednesday, we have earnings reports from H&R Block, Hovnanian and American Eagle Outfitters. In addition to new weekly jobless claims figures, Thursday will bring Q4 results from Smithfield Foods, Williams-Sonoma, Quicksilver and Stein Mart. Friday, the February unemployment report comes out along with data on wholesale inventories and earnings from Ann Inc. (formerly Ann Taylor) and Del Monte.