It’s March. And it’s amazing how January and February fly by when temps are in the 40’s as opposed to being sub-zero. Another few weeks and we’re pretty much home free. Some interesting facts about the month of March …
- March is one of the seven months with 31 days, and starts on the same day of the week as November, every single year.
- The name of March comes from ancient Rome, when March was the first month of the year and named Martius after Mars or Ares, the Greek god of war.
- March’s birthstones are aquamarine and bloodstone. These stones mean courage. Its birth flower is the Daffodil.
- March is American Red Cross Month, Fire Prevention Month, and Women’s History Month.
- Most people know St. Patrick’s Day is March 17th. Fewer know that March 2nd is National Reading Day, March 14th is Save a Spider Day, March 15th is the Ides of March (the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar by Brutus, Cassius, Casca and others), and March 22nd is World Water Day.
- Spring officially begins on March 21st.
- For sports fans, March features the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, baseball spring training, and the end of the regular season playoff chases in the NBA and NHL.
the big budget superhero film that was filmed primarily in Cleveland. It will be released to theaters on May 4th. The film features a star-studded cast which includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson.
A lot of very familiar sights in the trailer. Very cool.
Quote of the Day …
“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.” ~ Vince Lombardi
Insane Fact of the Day …
A tiger’s tongue is so rough it can lick the paint off of a building.
Got a bunch of data being released this morning.
Already out – weekly first time jobless claims, which held steady this week at 351,000 … which was right around expectations. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, dropped 5,500 to 354,000 – the lowest level since March 2008. The government will release February’s employment report on March 9. While the labor market is gaining momentum, the level of employment is still 6 million new jobs away from its prerecession level. Yesterday, Fed Chairman Big Ben Bernanke described the labor market as “far from normal” and further improvement would require stronger growth in final demand and production.
Also already out this morning is a report showing personal income was up 0.3% and personal spending up 0.2% in January, less than the 0.4% increases anticipated for both.
At 10 AM EST we get the ISM Manufacturing Index, as well as a report on construction spending.
Yesterday stocks and bonds it on the chin. Stocks were unable to hold the 13,000 Dow level established on Tuesday, declining by 53 points yesterday to close at 12,952. There continues to be a lack of clear direction in the Europe situation, and that isn’t helping. Also, Bernanke dealt a swift blow to bond prices and mortgage rates yesterday when he told Congress another round of quantitative easing was not imminent. Bernanke will be back testifying on the Fed’s semiannual report on monetary policy and the economy and answering lawmakers’ questions, this time before the Senate Banking Committee at 10 AM EST.
~ Jobless Claims Little Changed at 351,000
~ Factory, Income Data Support Growth Outlook
~ Bernanke Back in the Hot Seat as QE Expectations Cool
~ Europe Drags on Global Economy, Few Policy Options Remain
~ Foreclosure Sales Ramp Up Post Robo-Signing
~ Fannie Mae’s Losses Narrow, but Treasury Advance Requested
~ State of the Housing Market: Case & Shiller Discussion
~ Obama, Congressional Leaders Seek Cooperation on Jobs
~ All Areas of the Country Show Growth, Federal Reserve Reports
~ Short Sales Rising as Banks Shun Foreclosures