Daily Data Flow: Stocks up on Confidence in Germany; Will More States Ban Credit Card Surcharges?; Business Opportunities in Myanmar?

Stocks Rise on Confidence in German Business (Bloomberg)
After several days of downward movement for stocks, German business confidence hit a 10-month high to contribute to an overall advance in today’s U.S. stocks. “The tone generally is not ebullient, but it tells you that there’s a real strength in the equity market that it’s actually rebounding today,” Jeffrey Davis, chief investment officer at Boston-based Lee Munder Capital Group LLC, said. “I haven’t seen a market like this in a long time where you can absorb a week of not-so-good news and rally at the end.”

More States Consider Banning Credit Card Surcharges (CNBC)
Ten states have already outlawed credit card surcharges, and legislators in eleven others are considering prohibiting merchants from charging fees to users of credit cards. “The amount of the surcharge may seem miniscule on paper, but in the family budget 1.5 to 3 percent could add up to a shorter grocery list or less to spend on gas,” New Jersey Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus) said. New Jersey is one of the states considering said legislation.

U.S. Businesses to Investigate Opportunities in Myanmar (Reuters)
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, fifty business executives from the United States will explore trade and investment opportunities in Myanmar next week, as sanctions between the two nations have been eased. “This delegation trip is an important milestone,” Tami Overby, the chamber’s vice president for Asia said in a statement. “We have made tremendous progress in normalizing economic relations between our countries. It is now time to take the relationship to the next level.”

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Despite a week of sub-par news, German business confidence rose more than analysts expected to reach a 10-month high in February.


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