A new report on global manufacturing has some surprising results.  It seems the U.S. has become a rising star, but what has brought us to this point? Reuters covers the story. The recent wide swings in the stock market illustrate once again the folly of trying to time it. Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab discusses the market’s underlying fundamentals, and why this kind of focus is the key to successful investing. Across major U.S. cities, the numbers for unemployment are dropping and salaries are rising. How are businesses responding to labor shortages? Steve Matthews of Business Week analyzes the situation with a detailed look at the national economy.

New Report Calls United States A ‘Rising Star’ Of Global Manufacturing– A new ranking of the competitiveness of the world’s top 25 exporting countries says the United States is once again a “rising star” of global manufacturing. This is thanks to falling domestic natural gas prices, rising worker productivity and a lack of upward wage pressure. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/25/us-usa-manufacturers-costs-idUSBREA3O0AW20140425

Schwab Market Perspective: Rhyme Or Reason?–  Stocks have seen wide swings recently, but year-to-date major indexes are roughly flat. Volatility may persist, but Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Schwab, suggests investors look past the near term and focus on the underlying fundamentals.  She believes the fundamentals of the economy and corporate health tend to win out in the longer term. http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/articles/Market-Perspective?requrl=/public/schwab/resource_center/expert_insight

Help Wanted Signs Are Popping Up In U.S. Cities–  Companies in cities across the U.S. are struggling to fill positions, with jobless rates in some metropolitan areas below the 5.2 percent to 5.6 percent level the Federal Reserve regards as full employment nationally. Competition for workers is prompting businesses to raise wages, increase hours for current employees, add benefits, and recruit from other regions.

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John R. Day, Bill Ennis, Stephanie Davidson and Matt Heller

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