U.S. Economy Picking Up Speed

Ellen Braitman analyzes the morning business headlines.
10:06 | 02/29/12

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Transcript for U.S. Economy Picking Up Speed
About forty hero of the NYP. -- Kevin Bright -- a bullet wound to the head last month. Doing great now also -- on the podium with him commissioner Ray Kelly. The New York police department. Now there it is -- February 29 to leap day everybody I'm -- Loeffler in New York a big day the Dow opening about thirteen thousand for the first time in nearly four years. Joining me now to discuss all of this and the other business headlines today. -- -- -- From Bloomberg TV Al I have to -- dates -- yet happy league debut as well listen 8:30 this morning we got some updated reports and GDP -- the last quarter 2011. Showing the economy grew at an annual rate of 3% from October to December that's more than what was previously reported how big of a deal as -- and we expect that kind of a -- Still economists thought that the number was gonna hold steady at two point 8% if you remember -- GDP the government puts out a series of revisions. This is the second numbered -- -- out for the fourth quarter. So better than had been expected that 3% pace of growth as you talked about and what we're looking at here is the fact that there were fewer imports -- initially reported. That you've got business investment revised higher and companies were building their inventories we knew they are building their inventories. At the end of last year but you put it all together. And you do you get this faster pace of growth it's a very good thing because we know some of the challenges you know that we still have going on and now you out on that the higher oil prices so. This -- longer the recovery is obviously it it makes it a little bit better going Howard in terms of job growth but also kind of weathering out somebody's at. And indeed the -- getting a little bit stronger on that as witness on the -- train about thirteen thousand or reflect about just and in the first of -- -- -- some breaking news it was a coming out -- about fifteen minutes. A go Rupert Murdoch's son James Murdoch stepping down from his post at the company's newspaper arm. In the UK. Is this all fought from a hacking scandal what are you hearing. You know we have to remember that James Murdoch is relocating to new York and it seems to be part of that. Of course everyone reads -- in the context of the hacking scandal. You know is he is his father going be able to to whether. This scandal which certainly they have in terms of the initial months and up and hearings that took place -- parliament in the UK but. Again in terms of the timing a lot of it really seems to be about his relocation from London to New York. I'll give -- nine and that's -- -- -- also Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke he's gonna be gonna on Capitol Hill today will be testifying before congress. What do we expect him to say any thing if at all about interest rates. So this -- has been holding steady to this progress that they're going to keep rates low. For an extended period of time then they started giving us the specific date before which they would not raise rates -- the focus is really going to be. What is he saying about the strength of this recovery -- what I'm sure I'll comments on the GDP report. I want -- hear what he's gonna say about oil prices because obviously that's become a surprise and not a concern when it comes to business investment when it comes to consumer spending. And as well one thing that -- that has said both Bernanke and other fed officials. Is that they stand ready. To do more to help the recovery if necessary so. That really is going to be is going to be the crops anymore specifics there is he backing away or sticking tight to that language that some of the Fed officials have been -- except. 10 o'clock is when we get -- prepared statement. And then soon thereafter hell -- and give that statement live and then take questions. All right going overseas -- big news out of Europe European Central Bank doling out a record amount of cash. In cheap loans to a lot of banks across the Euro zone saw how is this gonna help with a financial crisis and may be specifically -- Greece. It definitely could it be a business is dominated goes degrees directly for -- out money. But certainly one -- some people have done -- these funds is by sovereign debt debt issued by some countries turn around and -- it. To consumers to businesses as well what -- talking about here. Is financial companies going to the European Central Bank. For three year loans. The -- now and institutions surged to 800 and the borrowing rose to a record 712. Point two billion dollars. One of the strategists -- -- at fixed income strategist at Barclays telling Bloomberg that really what stood out to him. Was the number of institutions that turn to the ECB for these cheap loans. And also the number of smaller banks that went looking for money -- the stigma does not seem to be there anymore when people turn to a central bank for health. And the expectation that the money will be passed through to the economy you know I mentioned -- -- they'll be listening or Bernanke whether he talks about. Any kind of stimulus -- that stands ready to do because we have to remember. There all of these different ways since the financial crisis in 2008. At the central banks have stepped forward to -- money into the economy so for the European Central Bank. This is one of the -- kind of new -- current. That story and for US banks they're turning to lend more money is well -- -- that's we're getting some reports out this morning so what kind of an effect is that gonna have on the domestic economy will be immediate impact is -- -- long run thing. Rates and that's a great questions -- likely to be fell short term some of that longer term. What you're -- -- is numbers that came out yesterday from the FDIC Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. And they said yesterday that loan balances on US lenders books and grew by a 130 billion dollars. In the fourth quarter of last year's on loans to commercial and industrial borrowers it was the biggest increase in four years it does suggest. That companies are looking to do some kind of investment -- part of that we're talking about look fourth quarter GDP what help we just talked a minute ago. Inventories companies building their inventories we know from a recent survey few days ago from economists at major companies the National Association of Business Economists survey. That those companies -- increase their hiring plan forecasts so. Again it does seem like companies here in the US and more willing to you either in -- or plan to -- -- about. Not just sitting on those stockpiles the cash was they've gotten criticized for in the past couple of months that. Goodness for the economic recover and that now a minute ago we talked about this being the first day in nearly four years what it was march. Since the last time at the Dow had an opening about thirteen thousand taking a look there still on the positive territory about thirteen thousand. Is it gonna stay there is this a blip on the map what are you hearing. Great spring of 2000 -- and -- is only at last close above these levels. I'm not make any promises. Stay here or not but I can tell U for the next thirty seconds it looks like it's gonna stay there -- I we're up a quarter ver percent right now -- the Dow thirteen 1032. Is the current level. Today we -- seem to be getting a boost from this GDP report but not a tremendous this right. On the push pull here is the fact that. Historically. Valuations when you look at where prices. For stocks are based on company's earnings they're historically -- But of course people are concerned is -- going to be a slow down. Because of the on the European crisis. Are these oil prices not repeat myself the right that's that the current big concern IEA's oil prices gonna slow us down so it's kind of -- -- the tension that's out there right. Now it is that cyclical process that we always have to keep in mind what what are the stocks have -- soaring lately apple. Now and that in the 500 billion range reports is getting -- when -- iPad three maybe some other gadgets along the way what are we hearing. Our rates -- next Wednesday is a product launch when you look at the invitations sent out to the media extender -- It did have a screen of an iPad didn't -- people -- they're gonna -- touch it and feel it and see yet. On and we'll -- being told -- gonna have a high -- us resolution and a faster processor. Apple knows how to build -- buzz definitely actually do that certainly to -- -- to last night big wins for Mitt Romney winning primaries in Michigan and Arizona. Staples that was one of the companies that he started with Bain Capital it's out with its earnings today how do we expect from those numbers. Staples -- out they match when he came to sales they match when it came to profit. Some of the comments that they made we're seeing slow growth in the US and soft demand in Europe so some of that the concerns being raised there. -- often got Costco PetSmart Caesars. -- -- in fact is going public again any headlines out of these earnings coming out today. One saying any of us who shop -- costs go now is the company did raise members -- prices several months back well they did. -- when he came to earnings are certainly getting a boost their from the membership -- and that's really where they make the money. On and one thing the company also pointing out is the profit margins were screen squeeze because of higher. Commodity prices. When it comes to PetSmart -- re reporting after the close today analysts looking for net income to be up 12%. It's growth and that's good but I took a look historically it would be the slowest pace of growth that the company has had since. The late part of 2010 and one -- we report on the other day is that you know what we typically think of as that recession proof market with a pat market. Right write people off early and cutting back on that -- that isn't it has a very interest in fact it put into perspective there. Yesterday -- about some leap year deals today of course being -- leap day everyone in full celebration making their resolutions for Lee thank you got some more deals force today. I don't know -- this makes -- I wish I think that's how we celebrate leap day I don't know I know that I don't we didn't get a card. Idea of tearing ordeals team members of -- five Downey's I'm not gonna take personal credit for this I Caribou Coffee byline -- free today. Einstein bagels by one lunch sandwich and get one -- that go out -- yourself whether it's at those retailers are not at a retailer pat yourself agree. Leap day and -- -- he. Drink and you don't have to turn the reds in but till tomorrow because you an -- -- on the album let let's look at the -- -- before we let you go out again about thirteen 1031 -- at 1127 points we'll keep an -- and that. Allen -- from Bloomberg always great to see would have a very happy not -- air this.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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