Daily Data Flow: Stocks Suffer on Low Retail Numbers; Dividends Climbing; Tax Dodging Costly for EU

Daily Data Flow

Stocks Suffer on Low Retail Numbers (Bloomberg)
Data showing an unexpected retail sales drop in March, along with a commodities decrease and a slight decline in consumer sentiment, was partly to blame for today’s fall in the stock market, which pushed the S&P 500 down from its record high. “We’ve seen this market go up quite a bit,” Terry L. Morris, at Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based National Penn Investors Trust Co., said. “A lot of investors are cautious at this point and are quick to sell on any kind of signs of a slowdown.”

Dividends Climbing (CNBC)
2013 looks to be a big year for dividend payments, with data showing that companies are increasing their payouts to the tune of some $14.5 billion. “All the numbers are positive on the dividends. The negative is that companies are slow. They’re paying out out in record amounts, but not a record as compared to what they’re making,” Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices said. “But if you’re looking for income, you don’t have much of a choice.”

Tax Dodging Costly for EU (Reuters)
Tax dodgers are costing the European Union around 1 trillion euros a year in lost revenues, and leaders of the organization plan to discuss this critical issue at a summit next month. “We must seize the increased political momentum to address this critical problem,” Herman Van Rompuy, who chairs meetings of EU leaders, said. “Tax evasion is unfair to citizens who work hard and pay their share of taxes for society to work. It is unfair to companies that pay their taxes – but find it hard to compete because others don’t.”

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