ECRI's WLI Growth Index declined and has remained in negative territory for 9 weeks. This index is forecasting a slight business cycle contraction in 1Q2015. Obviously the markets do not share ECRI's view the business cycle is taking a downturn. ECRI also released their coincident and lagging indices this week and is discussed below.
from the Congressional Budget Office
The federal tax treatment of capital income affects investment incentives, both for the amounts invested and for allocations among assets. When tax rates are high, investors require higher before-tax rates of return and thus forgo investments with lower returns that they otherwise would have made. Current law produces significant variations in the taxation of capital income from different investments, thus leading investors to require higher before-tax rates of return on some investments than on others. Those differences reduce economic efficiency—the extent to which resources are allocated to maximize before-tax value.
from the Securities and Exchange Commission
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Staten Island, N.Y.-based firm, its former president, and two sales representatives involved in a fraudulent boiler room scheme targeting seniors to invest in speculative start-up companies.
Econintersect: Week 50 of 2014 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) improved according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. The rate of growth continues to be very strong in all of the rolling averages reported below.
The average U.S. household is expected to spend about $550 less on gasoline in 2015 compared with 2014, as annual motor fuel expenditures are on track to fall to their lowest level in 11 years. Lower fuel expenditures are attributable to a combination of falling retail gasoline prices and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks that reduce the number of gallons used to travel a given distance.