The big news this morning is the February jobs report from the Labor Department. U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs last month, and previous estimates for December and January were revised higher. The unemployment rate remains at 8.3 percent.
The U.S. trade deficit surged to the widest imbalance in more than three years in January as imports hit an all-time high, reflecting big demand for foreign-made cars, computers and food products.
Some good news for Greece: the vast majority of its bond-holders have agreed to the much talked about bond swap. It will mean the value of their bonds will get cut in half but it will save Greece from defaulting on its debts.
Here's an investment with some soul. Guitar maker Fender just filed papers to go public. Fender is the country's biggest seller of electric, bass and acoustic guitars.
Shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters are down more than 13 percent this morning. That on news that Starbucks is going to start producing a single cup coffee maker. Green Mountain coffee's Keurig machine and K-cup system currently control about three-quarters of the single cup market. Starbuck's The Verismo will be rolled out later this year--no word yet on price.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei Stock index briefly hit 10-thousand today for the first time since August -- a sign of a recovering economy one year after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Japanese singing sensation Hatsune Miku gave what was billed as her last concert today it was sold out--10,000 tickets at nearly 80 bucks a pop. The interesting part: there is no Hatsune Miku. She's not a real person, she's a computer generated avatar developed by Crypton Future Media. Fans write her songs and a projection of her appears on stage -- with mint green pigtails.
The British government is considering changing the rules for ice cream trucks. For decades, playing music after 7 p.m. has been banned on ice cream trucks ...or as the law calls them: "vehicles being used for the conveyance of a perishable commodity for human consumption." Now the government wants to allow the music to be played until 8 p.m.
“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VABEFORE YOU GO