Daily Data Flow: S&P Falls Slightly; Gas Prices Falling; Small Businesses Slow to Hire

S&P Endures Slight Fall (Bloomberg)
A day after coming within nine points of its all-time high, the S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent today, ending a seven-day rally. ???After setting new all-time highs for several consecutive days, the market may be a little tired, and rightly so,??? Ryan Larson, the Chicago-based head of U.S. equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc., said. ???With little in the way of catalysts, it would not be surprising to see the streak end. That being said, as long as central bank accommodation remains, any pullback should be short-term in nature.???

Gas Prices Slowly Decreasing (CNBC)
According to data released by AAA today, gas prices have undergone two consecutive weeks of decline, easing some of the strain on consumer wallets. However, prices remain at relatively high levels, as they are still higher than the average price just one month ago and only forty cents beneath the all-time high set in July 2008.

Small Businesses Still Slow to Hire (CNBC)
Though confidence ratings of small business owners had a slight increase in February, hiring is still lacking. “While the Fortune 500 are enjoying record high earnings, Main Street earnings remain depressed,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Far more firms report sales down quarter over quarter than up.” He continued, “Until owners’ forecast for the economy improves substantially, there will be little boost to hiring and spending from the small business half of the economy.”


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