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U.S. economic data mixed

The latest batch of U.S. economic data revealed rising home prices and a busier service sector but declining consumer confidence. Analysts cited Markit’s flash purchasing managers index of 57 this month for the service sector, up from 54.2 in January, as a sign of solid…

Fines imposed by FINRA surged in 2014

Companies supervised by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority were fined about $135 million last year, more than double the $60 million in 2013, according to an analysis by law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan. Additionally, companies and registered representatives were ordered to pay $52 million…

Rise in U.S. home prices picks up momentum

The increase in the price of homes in 20 major U.S. cities accelerated in December as dwindling inventories of properties drove up valuations, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index. Prices were 4.5% higher than they were in December 2013. Bloomberg (24 Feb.)

Yellen eyes labor market, inflation for interest rate’s future

With the U.S. job market still gaining strength and inflation too low, the Federal Reserve is not yet ready to raise interest rates from near-zero levels, Janet Yellen, head of the central bank, told the Senate banking committee as she delivered the Fed’s semiannual economic…

When NOT to Convert a Roth

Converting a traditional Roth IRA for the benefit of heirs doesn’t always work as planned. Help your clients run the numbers. Financial Planning (Feb 24)