Economy added 236,000 jobs in February | Fed report on economy is cautiously upbeat | 17 of 18 biggest financial companies pass stress test
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March 8, 2013
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Business Finance Today
Economy added 236,000 jobs in February
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 236,000 and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7%, according to Labor Department figures for February. The figure for new hires in January was revised down to 119,000, from 157,000. Reuters (3/8), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/8), The Olympian (Olympia, Wash.)/The Associated Press (3/8)
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Fed report on economy is cautiously upbeat
The Federal Reserve maintains a broadly optimistic tone in the Beige Book, citing a pickup in consumer spending and a resurgent housing market. "For the Fed, it's slow progress but not enough to alter its rate of asset purchases," BNP Paribas economist Yelena Shulyatyeva said. Reuters (3/6)
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17 of 18 biggest financial companies pass stress test
Most banks have sufficient capital to survive another financial downturn, the Federal Reserve said as it released results of the latest stress test. "Significant increases in both the quality and quantity of bank capital during the past four years help ensure that banks can continue to lend to consumers and businesses, even in times of economic difficulty," Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo said. Ally Financial is the only bank that did not meet the Fed's standards. The Wall Street Journal (3/7)
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Your Bottom Line
Banks face investigations over debt collection
State and federal regulators are looking into whether big banks passed along faulty information to debt collectors, who then used such information to pursue judgments against credit card customers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, attorneys general in several states and other federal regulators are investigating paperwork and debt records that banks gave to debt collectors, sources say. Reuters (3/7)
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S&P 500 dividends are forecast to reach $300B this year
This year is expected to be a record for dividends, with companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index projected to pay $300 billion. The Federal Reserve's bill of health for most financial institutions -- the annual stress test -- likely will lead banks to further increase dividends and share buybacks. The Wall Street Journal (3/7)
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In the C-Suite
Never take a promotion without negotiating pay
Don't let your employer pressure you into accepting a promotion before you've discussed a pay raise, Alison Green writes. Your negotiating power disappears as soon as you accept the offer. "If they put you off and push you to start doing the new job now, you need to hold firm: 'I'm not comfortable taking on a new job without discussing the terms, such as salary,' " she writes. Ask A Manager blog (3/5)
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Start today at making your workplace great
Even entry-level employees have the power to make their workplaces better for everyone, Alan Henry writes. Start small by having a conversation with your manager about possible morale boosters. "The key ... is to be tenacious. You won't be able to just throw a suggestion at your manager or their manager and then walk away," he writes. Lifehacker (3/6)
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Off the Charts
Comet watchers get a treat
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Reuters
The comet Pan-STARRS will make a close pass by Earth next week, with the best viewing days expected Tuesday and Wednesday for the Northern Hemisphere. This is Pan-STARRS' first trip through the inner solar system. Yahoo/The Associated Press (3/5)
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Editor's Note
Help SmartBrief cover SXSW Interactive!
SmartBrief will cover the South by Southwest Interactive Festival through Tuesday in Austin, Texas, and we need your help! SXSW has too many must-see events for our staff to cover, so we're turning to readers to help document the best panels as blog contributors. If you're headed to Austin and want to contribute to SmartBrief's blogs on social media, leadership, finance, food and beverage or education, check out our guest-post guidelines and send a note to Jesse Stanchak.
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Featured Press Releases
 
SmartQuote
We are starting to get out of hunker-down mode, so what you have now is a bunch of cash hoarders who have decided to take that cash out of their balance sheets."
-- David Ikenberry, dean of the University of Colorado's business school, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal
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