Uncertainty Over Economy Clouds Obama Speech
(New York Times) — A year ago, the economy looked as if it were speeding down the runway, only to stall out in the spring. Now tentative signs of a pickup are emerging across the country again. Factory production, retail sales and existing-home sales are rising, while unemployment claims are trending down. Companies like General Motorsand Macy’s have recently announced hiring plans, and bank lending to businesses is starting to expand. Investor sentiment is strengthening, as major stock market indexes climb to their highest levels since mid-2008.