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Biggest Since 1933

Markets are higher this morning, with S&P 500 and NASDAQ on pace for a sixth straight winning week. The Dow Jones industrial average is on track for its biggest comeback from a deficit during a quarter since 1933. (CNBC) Umpqua Bank will close 26 branch offices. A company release didn’t specify which outlets will close….

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Wear a little green today

It is Wall Street’s favorite holiday – the wearing of the GREEN. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged yesterday and cut its expectations for further interest rate increases. The Fed now expects to raise rates only twice this year, down from its previous estimate of four. (CNBC) The Consumer Price…

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Inflation still tame

U.S. producer prices fell 0.2% in February on lower energy and food costs, but prices were unchanged from a year ago. This was the first time since January 2015 that the year-on-year PPI did not decline. Energy prices declined 3.4%. Gasoline prices declined 15.1%, the biggest drop in a year. (Labor Department) Total mortgage application…

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Fed starts two day meeting

Stocks are lower this morning, as the Federal Reserve starts a two-day meeting. Yesterday was flat with the Dow posting its highest close of 2016. (Fox Business News) Asian stocks closed mixed while we slept, after the Bank of Japan did not introduce new stimulus measures at its latest policy meeting. Stocks in Europe tracked…

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Merger Monday

What is new is old again. Haggen will sell to Albertson’s 29 “core stores,” including the two in Bend. Haggen bought the stores from Albertsons just a year ago before going bankrupt in September. Haggen will seek approval to begin a going out of business sale for the 3 stores not included in the sale….

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A fourth consecutive week?

Sears’ second-largest shareholder has sold off more than 700,000 shares this month. The SEC says, Bruce Berkowitz’s Fairholme Capital has sold 706,600 Sears shares reducing its ownership to 27.3 million shares. Sears stock has fallen 16% so far this year, and is down 53% over the past 12 months. (CNBC) As they try to figure…

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