- U.S. retail sales dip only slightly in Feb, but record high number of workers drawing state jobless benefits
- U.S. households suffer record-large 9 pct drop in wealth and pare debt in fourth quarter amid deepening recession
- Standard & Poor’s strips GE (GE.N) of its AAA credit rating, citing the performance of its finance unit
- World Bank President Zoellick tells British newspaper he expects global economy to shrink about 1 pct to 2 pct this year
- EU may lend $75-100 billion to IMF to boost its lending capacity, says a draft for EU leaders’ summit next week
- U.S. stocks gain for 3rd day on relief that GE’s rating was cut by just one notch, consumer spending data. Dow up 3.46 pct
- Europe shares end higher for 3rd straight session, retailers jump on positive results, drugmakers gain. Nikkei drops 2.4 pct
- Oil up more than 11 pct to top $46 a barrel after better-than-expected U.S. Feb retail sales and ahead of OPEC meet
- Dollar, euro soar vs Swiss franc after Swiss National Bank says it was intervening in the foreign exchange market
- U.S. government debt prices jump, robust demand for $11 billion of 30-year bonds soothes worries about huge supply influx
“It now appears that real consumer spending will be roughly flat in the first quarter. Even though the worst declines appear behind us, it would be premature to conclude that the consumer is on the way back.” - Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts.
“There’s stability in these numbers, particularly when you strip out autos and gas. So clearly the consumer is not completely knocked out,” said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at the Bank of New York-Mellon in New York.
“It’s a combination of better-than-expected retail sales and the GE news. A lot of things are priced for the apocalypse, but they’re not quite that bad.” - Cleveland Rueckert of Birinyi Associates in Stamford, Connecticut.
“Layoffs are stepping up further and we are seeing there is no corresponding pickup in new hiring,” said Pierre Ellis, a senior global economist at Decision Economics in New York. “This is very bad momentum into this downturn.”
“We haven’t seen numbers like that since World War Two, which really means the ‘30s, so these are serious and dangerous times.” - World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
(all times GMT)
FRIDAY, March 13
WASHINGTON - The Commerce Department issues international trade for January at 1230. The Labor Department issues import and export prices for February at 1230. The Federal Reserve releases weekly assets and liabilities of commercial banks at 2015. (Compiled by World Desk, Americas, +1 202 898 8457)