Three more pieces for the economic puzzle:
— There was a 14.6 percent increase in housing starts in January from December, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report. Still, the pace was 2.6 percent below January 2010's.
— Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in January from December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says, and were up 3.6 percent from a year earlier. The so-called core rate of inflation — prices excluding the volatile food and energy sectors — was up 0.5 percent in January, the most since October 2008.
— Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in January from December, the Federal Reserve says. While it was flat last month, production was still up 5.2 percent from January 2010.