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Weekly Market Wrap: March 13, 2015
Friday, March 13, 2:50 PM ET

The tenth full trading week of 2015 comes to a close with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ composite all lower in early afternoon trading on Friday.

Most actively traded stocks include Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) down 0.62%, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) down 1.05%, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) up 0.4%, and FXCM (NYSE:FXCM) up 17.2%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are all lower in the last five days of trading.

Crude oil futures are significantly lower this week, trading at $45.10 per barrel on Friday afternoon.

And Gold futures are lower this week, trading at $1154.81 an ounce this afternoon.

In economic news, in the week ending March 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 289,000, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 5,000 from 320,000 to 325,000. The 4-week moving average was 302,250, a decrease of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,250 from 304,750 to 306,000.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $437.0 billion, a decrease of 0.6 percent from the previous month, but up 1.7 percent above February 2014. Total sales for the December 2014 through February 2015 period were up 2.9 percent from the same period a year ago. The December 2014 to January 2015 percent change was unrevised from -0.8 percent. Retail trade sales were down 0.6 from January 2015, but up 1.0 percent above last year. Nonstore retailers were up 8.6 from February 2014 and food services and drinking places were up 7.7 percent from last year. Gasoline stations were down 23.0 percent from the previous year.

The Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.5 percent in February, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Final demand prices moved down 0.8 percent in January and 0.2 percent in December. On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand decreased 0.6 percent for the 12 months ended in February.

In February, about 70 percent of the decline in final demand prices can be attributed to a 0.5-percent decrease in the index for final demand services. Prices for final demand goods moved down 0.4 percent.

Within intermediate demand, the index for processed goods fell 0.6 percent, the index for unprocessed goods dropped 3.9 percent, and prices for services edged up 0.1 percent.

In corporate dividend news, Dollar General Corporation (NYSE:DG) approved the initiation of a regular quarterly cash dividend to shareholders. The first quarter dividend of $0.22 per share will be payable on April 22, 2015 to shareholders of record of the Company's common stock on April 8, 2015.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.44 per share, payable May 1, 2015, to shareholders of record April 10, 2015. This represents a 7 percent increase from the previous quarterly rate of $0.41 per share. Including the new May quarterly payment, General Mills dividends per share in fiscal 2015 will total $1.67, up 8 percent from the annual dividend of $1.55 paid the previous fiscal year.

Microsoft declared a quarterly dividend of $0.31 per share. The dividend is payable June 11, 2015, to shareholders of record on May 21, 2015. The ex-dividend date will be May 19, 2015.

Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) declared a regular quarterly dividend of $1.00 per common share, payable on April 10, 2015, to shareholders of record as of March 26, 2015. The ex-dividend date is March 24, 2015.

Kadant (NYSE:KAI) approved a quarterly cash dividend to stockholders of $0.17 per share to be paid on May 14, 2015 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on April 16, 2015.

This is the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for Friday, March 13, 2015.

Please join us on Monday for the Week Ahead Market Report.

For MarketNewsVideo.com, I'm Sayoko Murase.

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Weekly Market Wrap: March 13, 2015 | Market News Video | Copyright © 2008 - 2015, All Rights Reserved

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