Business optimism rose

NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends Survey for February shows that business optimism rose to 107.6, continuing its streak of record highs that include a jump in the number of small business owners increasing compensation and capital outlays. The historically high readings indicate that policy changes – lower taxes and fewer regulations – are transformative for small businesses.

Job creation remained solid in the small-business sector with 52% of small business owners saying they are currently hiring, but they continue to have difficulty finding qualified workers, according to the monthly National Federation of Independent Business Jobs Report.

The Labor Department says consumer prices rose 0.2% in February. On a year-over-year basis, the consumer price index rose 2.2%. A decline in energy prices helped keep inflation in check while apparel contributed the most to gains.

Vail Resorts is raising the minimum wage at its resorts from $11 per hour to $12.25 per hour. Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said that the increase will be covered by a $40 million cash savings that the company expects to see in 2018 from the Trump tax bill. (AP)

The S&P 500 is up 9 and the NASDAQ is up 32. The MSCI international index is higher.

Oil is up 44 cents at $61.16 a barrel.

Gold is down $1 at $1327 a Troy ounce.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.


Troy Reinhart • March 14, 2018

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