Happy 2014 everyone!  I took a couple of weeks off for vacation but am back with some news roundups for the morning:

  • U.S. manufacturing from December grew at its fastest pace in 11 months. This tells us business spending is up, a strong sign for the economy overall (Source: Reuters)
  • Jobless rates (measured by applications for U.S. unemployment) fell last week to the lowest level in a month.  Granted, the figure is probably off a bit due to the seasonal Christmas hiring, but it’s looking like layoffs are on a flat to downward trend for now. (Source: Bloomberg)
  • The S&P 500 is down this morning off of declines in the Techonology sector and fears of a correction.  This comes after the S&P rose 30% last year, its best year since 1997! (Source: Bloomberg)
  • Looks like Nest will be a company to watch in 2014.  The smart home gadget startup (think smart thermostats), is reportedly in the midst of raising a huge round of funding — between $150 million and $200 million.  That range puts Nest’s future valuation somewhere between $2 billion and $3 billion. (Source: VentureBeat)

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