Small business optimism is near its highest level

Oregon’s largest employer Intel has agreed to buy Israeli driverless technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion. That is a $63.54 per share cash deal. Mobileye was founded in 1999. Mobileye employs 600 people. (Reuters)

Small business optimism is near its highest level in 43 years, according to the February National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index. The Index fell 0.6 points in February to 105.3. Three of the ten components increased, six declined modestly, and one was unchanged. Half of business owners expect better business conditions in the coming months. The job openings index reached its highest level since December 2000, but owners reported difficulty finding qualified workers. Twenty-six percent of small business owners reported raising compensation, one of the highest readings since February 2007. (NFIB)

U.S. shale oil producers will increase their output by 109,000 barrels a day in April, according to the Energy Information Administration. That will raise total output from the shale oil basins to 5 million barrels a day. Shale drilling started to recover in the second half of 2016. Oil prices hovered near three-month lows on Tuesday (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield hit 2.61% yesterday, the highest level in over two years on expectations the Fed will raise interest rates this week. (WSJ)

The S&P 500 is down 2 and the NASDAQ is down 5. The MSCI international index is flat.

Oil is up 15 cents at $48.50 a barrel.

Gold is up $2 at $1205 a Troy ounce.

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

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Financial Focus • March 14, 2017


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