Eagle Eye Opener: Markets Rise around the World; U.S. Unemployment Rate Expected to Have Dipped a Bit in February; U.S. Retirees Lose Ground

Green Wave Nearly Sweeps the World (Bloomberg)

Aside from an occasional straggler, you won???t see too many red numbers for global indexes today. Beginning in the Far East, the Japanese Nikkei 225 was up 2.64 percent, hitting a four-and-a-half-year high; Hong Kong???s Hang Seng followed suit, closing 1.41 percent up, while the Shanghai Shenzen CSI 300 was the lone loser, dropping .48 percent. Major European Indexes were green across the board, while U.S. Index futures reflect the following: DJIA up.23 percent, S&P 500 ahead .18 percent and the Nasdaq gaining .30 percent. Signs point to another green day, but how long the optimism lasts is anybody???s guess.

U.S. Unemployment Rate Expected to Have Fallen in February (Reuters)

Despite deep government spending cuts and higher taxes, the United States is expected to report today that February???s jobless rate fell again slightly. Investors should note that many Wall Street number jockeys say this situation reflects that the economy is strong enough to absorb bad news and keep on truckin’. And even though the 170,000 jobs thought to have been added last month trail the previous six-month average of 177,000 jobs added, there are other indications that the economy???s still gaining strength. Specifically, first-time jobless claims are said to have fallen, while private employers hired more workers than expected. March???s figures are expected to give a truer measure of economic performance???

U.S. Retirees Losing Ground in Latest World Rankings (CNNMoney)

U.S. citizens looking toward retirement might want to consider taking their golden years to a country with better prospects for comfortable living, such as Norway or Israel, or even Slovenia. In fact, if you???re currently living off of investment income, or nearing retirement age, you should know there are currently 18 countries ahead of the United States, according to Natixis Global Asset Management, a French firm. Natixis based its rankings off measures of health care, finances, material well-being and quality of life. Aside from the fact that those last two criteria are subjective assessments at best, it???s certainly disconcerting to citizens of the world???s leading economy to know that they???re 19th — at best — in terms of retirement comfort. So, what can you do about it?