Read the highlights of this week's commentary from Helios:
For the fourth week in a row, initial jobless claims continued to remain below 200K, coming in at 196K.
Consumer sentiment modestly improved in the February preliminary report from the University of Michigan, rising to 66.4, from 64.9 in January. The upward move put sentiment at the highest level in more than a year. The overall improvement is coming from more rosy views of current conditions while future expectations fell slightly.
Nearly 70% of the S&P 500 had reported earnings through Friday morning, and so far aggregate earnings have beaten analyst estimates by 1.8%. Roughly 70% of the companies that have reported have beat estimates, which is slightly below the 5-year average.
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