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Week in Review

Week in Review, hosted by Dr. David Mielke, covers the previous and coming week’s business stories and stock market news while discussing how these events will impact the business world – encouraging you to form opinions on this week’s topics.

12:00 PM every Monday
Replay: 6:00 PM, 12:00 PM, 6:00 AM


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Reports and Announcements for the Week of May 23, 2016

Week in Review
May 30, 2016 12:00 PM

Sales at U.S. retailers and restaurants grew at the fastest pace in more than a year last month, a sign consumers stepped up spending after a slow start to 2016. Retail sales advanced 1.3% in April from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $453 billion, the Commerce Department said. It was the best monthly gain since March 2015. Compared with a year earlier, retail sales grew 3%.

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A Look Ahead May 23, 2016

Week in Review
May 27, 2016 5:00 PM

With the help of GPS apps, runners and bikers are producing everything from Thanksgiving turkeys to characters on “Game of Thrones.” The apps tracks their movements in real-time, and, if all goes smoothly, the map’s final series of squiggles and lines resembles the chosen subject. Executives at fitness-app makers spotted the first examples of GPS art in 2011, with routes depicting heart shapes or jack-o’-lanterns.

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Plan on It, Another Pension Bailout

Week in Review
May 27, 2016 4:00 PM

In this week's "Something to Think About" David talks about Congress passing legislation in 2014 to help insolvent multi-employer pension plans save themselves.  Central States pension fund which covers 400,000 Teamster workers and retirees is one of the plans that is insolvent and which did try to save itself.  However, the Treasury Department blocked Central State's plan to cut benefits within limits.  Why did the Treasury Department block the plan?  What is the next step to save the pension plan?  Central States has already asked Congress to cover its $11 billion shortfall.  Will the taxpayers be paying the Teamster pensions?  President Obama signed the law to provide a path to save the pension, but now the Treasury Department blocks that path?

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Michigan News for the Week of May 23, 2016

Week in Review
May 27, 2016 3:00 PM

Weaker-than-expected business and sales tax collections will require the state to cut spending by $460 million by 2017, according to new revenue estimates. As a result, state budget officials say they will recommend smaller increases for some budget items than Gov. Rick Snyder initially proposed to the Legislature, while stressing that emergency funding for Flint and a proposed debt restructuring of Detroit Public Schools will remain priorities. Budget cuts aren't expected in the rest of the current 2016 fiscal year, state budget Director John Roberts said. He added that any spending reduction in 2017 is likely to be achieved with smaller program increases rather than outright cuts.

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A Look Around The Nation and World May 23, 2016

Week in Review
May 27, 2016 1:43 PM

America has built up a glut of cheese so big that every person in the country would need to eat an extra 3 pounds this year to work it off. And it isn’t just cheese. The growing stacks of cheddar, which can be kept frozen for years, and other cheeses such as feta, which can be stored for only a couple of months, are just the tip of a surplus of U.S. agricultural products that is swamping markets for grains, meat and milk.  Supplies of cheese, meat and poultry started building as farmers decided to expand their herds and flocks two years ago when prices were high and export markets were hot. Abundant stockpiles of grain made it less risky by pushing down feed costs. But the steady climb in the dollar has deterred major foreign buyers, causing supplies to back up in the U.S. just as production is surging to records. That is sending prices for many goods to their lowest levels in years.  America’s dairy farmers are expected to produce 212.4 billion pounds of milk this year, the most in history. Much of it is being sold to cheesemakers who are socking away their output, waiting for demand and prices to rise.  Commercial cold-storage freezers held a record-breaking 1.19 billion pounds of cheese at the end of March, the latest month for which data is available, up 11% from the same time last year.

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Wall Street Wrap Up May 23, 2016

Week in Review
May 27, 2016 12:09 PM

Energy shares climbed as crude oil prices hit a fresh 2016 high, contributing to a broad rally in US stocks on Monday. The Dow rose 175, the S&P advanced 20 and the Nasdaq added 58.  Stocks on Tuesday essentially erased their gains from the day before after a monthly gauge of inflation showed prices increased last month at the fastest pace in three years.  The Dow fell 181, the S&P dropped 19 and the Nasdaq shed 60.  S. stocks finished little-changed late Wednesday following a bumpy session after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting indicated that “most” of its members are ready to lift rates as early as June.  The Dow lost 3, the S&P was flat and the Nasdaq gained 23. The Dow fell for a third straight session and the S&P erased its gains for the year on Thursday.  The Dow fell 91, the S&P lost 8 and the Nasdaq dropped 27.  U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday as fears of an interest-rate hike ebbed with the S&P and the Nasdaq posting weekly gains, but the Dow extended its losing streak for a fourth week.  The Dow gained 66 to 17,501, the S&P rose 12 to 2,052 and the Nasdaq added 57 to 4,770.

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This Week's Market Perspective

Week in Review
May 20, 2016 12:00 PM

Investors yanked a net $4.6 billion from hedge funds in March, according to eVestment, marking the fifth month out of six where redemptions exceeded allocations. The March figures brought the first quarter outflow to $14.35 billion, a rare stretch of extended rejection for a multi-trillion dollar hedge fund industry accustomed to growth. Pension funds, university endowments and insurers have increasingly put hedge funds on the chopping block after years of uneven performance and scrutiny about their fees. 

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Something to Think About - "Saving for Retirement"

Week in Review
May 12, 2016 2:30 PM

The topic in Something to Think About is "Saving for Retirement."The introduction of 401(k) plans, IRAs and similar tax savings plans were supposed to ensure that everyone would have adequate retirement resources. In theory, retirees would rely less upon Social Security and more upon their own savings. Many American companies began switching from traditional pensions to self-directed 401(k) like plans in the 1980s and 1990s, with workers themselves to be responsible for saving enough for a comfortable retirement. What have been the results of these changes after 30 years? Is the do it yourself pension system working? What has been the biggest impact on the savings for retirement? Given the results after 30 years, should we still consider reforming Social Security?

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Wall Street Wrap-up - Stocks Up, Corporate Profits Decline, Year of Defaults

Week in Review
May 12, 2016 2:00 PM

U.S. stocks finished higher Friday, rebounding after spending much of the session in the red, as investors grappled with the jobs report and its ramifications for Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. The Dow rose 80 to 17,741, the S&P tacked on 7 to 2,057 and the Nasdaq gained 19 to 4,736.

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Reports and Announcements - Worst Stretch for U.S. Productivity Growth

Week in Review
May 12, 2016 1:30 PM

Inflation remained modest in March, a sign that pricing pressures are in check amid slow growth in the U.S. and overseas, and low oil prices.

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