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Stocks Little Changed For The Week, As Leading Economic Indicators Rose

The index of leading economic indicators (LEI) increased two-tenths of 1% in March following a one-tenth of 1% decline in February, and a decline of two-tenths of 1% in January.

"With the March gain, the U.S. LEI's six-month growth rate improved slightly but still points to slow, although not slowing, growth in the coming quarters," said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board, which maintains the LEI index. "Rebounding stock prices were offset by a decline in housing permits, but nonetheless there were widespread gains among the leading indicators. Financial conditions, as well as expected improvements in manufacturing, should support a modest growth environment in 2016."

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.2% Friday to close the week at 2,091.58. The ups and downs and news events since January 2015 are shown in the chart above.

Stocks have suffered two double-digit corrections in this period but they have been little changed in this period of nearly 16 months. Stocks are also essentially flat since the beginning of 2016, and S&P 500 prices were also flat for the week ended Friday.