New orders for manufactured durable goods in February increased $3.9 billion or 1.7% to $235.4 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up two consecutive months, followed a 2.3% January increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.1%. Transportation equipment, also up two consecutive months, led the increase, $3.3 billion or 4.3% to $80.4 billion. THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Conference Board will release its Consumer Confidence Index for March. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report.
Friday, the Dow closed 59.86 points (0.29%) lower at 20,596.72, the NASDAQ was up 11.04 points (0.19%) at 5,828.74, and the S&P 500 decreased by 1.98 (0.08%) to 2,343.98. The Russell 2000 increased by 1.22 (0.09%) to 1,354.64, and the Wilshire 5000 was down 5.80 points (0.02%) at 24,377.29.
On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares changed hands, with a slight lead for advancing issues. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares traded, with a 1.3 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners.
The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 2/32, decreasing its yield to 2.416%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 12/32, bringing its yield down to 3.018%. WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending March 24, the Dow finished 1.47% lower, the NASDAQ was down 1.22%, and the S&P 500 decreased 1.44%. The Russell 2000 fell 2.65%, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 1.55%.
|Bill Aims to Help Small Businesses Aggregate Form 5500s:
|Bipartisan legislation to reduce duplicative filing costs for small businesses looking to offer retirement plans to their employees was introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The bill directs the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury Department to allow employers and sole-proprietors participating in retirement plans administered in the same way to file a single aggregated Form 5500.
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|ERISA Legality Claims Need Not Be Administratively Exhausted:
|The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court’s holding that participants in Cumberland University’s 403(b) plan must exhaust all administrative remedies under the plan before filing suit against the plan fiduciaries. The appellate court found some claims questioned the legality of a plan amendment, which it said are issues for courts to decide.
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|ON THIS DATE: In 1794, the U.S. Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Navy. In 1866, U.S. President Andrew Johnson vetoed the civil rights bill, which later became the 14th amendment. In 1912, the first cherry blossom trees were planted in Washington, D.C. The trees were a gift from Japan. In 1941, Tokeo Yoshikawa arrived in Oahu, Hawaii, and began spying for Japan on the U.S. Fleet at Pearl Harbor. In 1952, the U.S. Eighth Army reached the 38th parallel in Korea, the original dividing line between the two Koreas. In 1976, Washington, D.C., opened its subway system. In 1985, Billy Dee Williams received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2007, NFL owners voted to make instant replay a permanent officiating tool.|
|SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Do you get asked common, repeated questions from plan participants?” And I asked for help in identifying what these questions are. Ninety percent of respondents said they get common, repeated questions from plan participants, while 10% do not. Respondents shared some common, repeated questions asked by plan participants. In verbatim comments, several readers said participant questions were a good sign that participants are engaging in their plans and thinking about saving for retirement. Others said participants would know some of the answers if they paid attention to communications materials. One reader shared how a participant question led to a committee discussion and addition of a plan investment to the plan’s menu. Editor’s Choice goes to the participant who said: “I blame technology and fee compression… Today, everything is done through the web or email and no one is there to review basic concepts with participants.” A big thank you to all who participated in the survey!
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