Rover's Weekly Market Brief - 03/18/2022


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The Labor Department reported that the producer price index for final demand increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in February after climbing 1.2 % in January and 0.4% in December. On an unadjusted basis, the PPI is up 10.0% for the 12-month period ending in February. A primary contributor to the rise in the final demand index was a 2.4% increase for final demand goods, the largest advance since the series started in December 2009. An 8.2% increase in the index for final demand energy accounted for two-thirds of the increase in the final demand goods index. Prices for final demand services were unchanged in February following a 1.0% jump in January. Increases in final demand transportation and warehousing services (+1.9%), and margins for final demand trade (+0.2%) were offset by a (-0.4%) decline in the index for final demand services less trade, transportation, and warehousing. The producer-price index excluding food and energy rose 0.2% from a month earlier and follows a 0.8% increase in January.  On an unadjusted basis, the PPI excluding food and energy is up 6.6% for the 12-month period ending in February.

The Commerce Department reported advance U.S. retail and food services sales increased 0.3% to $658.1B in February, this follows an upwardly revised 4.9% increase for January. Retail sales are running 17.6% higher than a year ago. Total sales for December 2021 through February 2022 were up 16.0% year over year. Contributing factors included increases from gas stations (+5.3%), bars and restaurants (+2.5%), and miscellaneous stores (+1.9%); which were offset by decreases from nonstore retailers (-3.7%), health and personal care (-1.80%), and furniture (-1.0%).  When sales for gas stations and autos are excluded, retail sales fell -0.4%. Core retail sales, a measurement that excludes spending on autos, gasoline, building materials, and food services increased by +0.2%, following a 4.4% jump in January.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported new residential building permits were down 1.9% in February to a seasonally adjusted 1.859M, 7.7% above the February 2021 rate of 1.726M. Single-family permits were down .5% to 1.207M, from a revised January figure of 1.213M. New residential building permits increased in the Northeast leading (+22.7%) and the West (+2.1%), while the Midwest (-8.4%), and South (-5.5%) saw declines. Privately-owned housing starts were up 6.8% to 1.769M, 22.3% above the February 2021 rate of 1.447M. Much of the overall increase in housing starts is attributed to a 5.7% increase in single-family starts. Single-family homebuilding increased in the Northeast (+28.7%), Midwest (+15.3%) and South (+11.4%), but fell in the West (-11.4%). Privately-owned housing completions were reported at 1.309M, up 5.9% from January, but down 2.8% over February 2021. Single-family housing completions came in at 1.034M, a 12.1% increase from January.

Wednesday March 23 – New Home Sales (February)

Thursday March 24 – Core Durable Goods Orders (MoM)

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