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The yield on the Ten year US Treasury note was on the cusp of 3% for the first time in more than four years this morning, as concerns about inflation have returned to the market.  Oil’s move above $70/barrel and rising metal prices have fanned inflation worries, which for much of the post-financial crisis period has remained subdued and helped sustain a rally in bonds. (FT)
 
Dollar bulls are back for now - the Greenback climbed to its highest level I a month and a half this morning, with investors bidding up the currency ahead of a slate of key economic events later this week, including most notably US GDP figures due Friday (SA).
 
Nearly 200 companies listed on the S&p500 are slated to report results this week from companies including Amazon, Facebook, Lockheed Martin, American Airlines, and Exxon Mobil.  Earnings are up over 20% so far year-on-year this quarter, with revenues up 7.5% on average. (WSJ)
 
The S&P 500 is up 3, and the NASDAQ is up 18.  The MSCI international index is down about 15/100 of a %.
Oil is down $1.10 at $67.30 a barrel. 
Gold is down $10 at $1328 an ounce.
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.


Hillsboro based Phoseon Technology, maker of semiconductor light for industrial applications, will expand its factory by more than 50%. Their work force has grown from 125 to 175 over the past two years. (OregonLive)

Market breadth appears to be in favor of the bulls. There are signs that the 2018 bottom for U.S. equities has may have taken place. We like to look at advance/decline (A/D) lines to gauge overall market strength, as this shows how many stocks are going up versus down. In healthy markets, we want to see higher trending A/D lines as a sign of underlying market strength. This week we are seeing that. (LPL)

The Mortgage Bankers Association says applications to refinance a home loan are nearly 10% lower than a year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home are 10% higher than a year ago.

Procter & Gamble, whose brands include Pampers diapers and Gillette razors, is buying the consumer health business of Germany's Merck for $4.2 billion. (Reuters)

Nike's vice president of footwear, Greg Thompson, has left the company, the latest in a series of executive departures at the sportswear maker. (Reuters)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Gross domestic product (GDP) in China rose +6.8% in the first quarter. (AP)

China's central bank announced a surprise cut in bank reserve requirements, reducing the amount of cash most commercial and foreign banks must hold in order to pay back loans obtained via the central bank's medium-term lending facility. The move is intended to free up lending for smaller firms. (LPL)

The S&P 500 Index has closed above previous resistance of 2675. The move through this level is noteworthy. Fundamentally, we remain positive on earnings gains propelling market gains in 2018. (LPL)
 
The Commerce Department said housing starts rose 1.9%. Despite the rebound in homebuilding last month, activity appears to be slowing. Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, fell 3.7%. (CNBC)

U.S. pork exporters will soon be free to ship meat to Argentina for the first time in 26 years after the two countries thrashed out an agreement to overturn an Argentinian import ban. (Reuters)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Earnings season kicks into high gear this week with about 15% of the S&P 500 reporting. Consensus expects S&P 500 earnings to increase 18% year over year, with increases in all 11 S&P sectors.

Stocks tend to hold up well when military actions are contained. Historically, market reactions to contained military conflicts have tended to be limited and short-lived, with big declines almost always driven by deteriorating economic cycles.

Inflation readings head higher, but not enough to impact the Fed. The latest readings for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Producer Price Index (PPI) were released last week. Both moved higher but remain at manageable levels.

Retail sales rebound, rising 0.6% month over month in March. Excluding autos and gas, sales rose 0.3%. Year-over-year comparisons accelerated across the board, jumping above 5%. Tax refunds may have also helped boost retail sales in March.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Year to date, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has returned 1.8%, ahead of both the developed international equity benchmark, which has returned 0.5%, and the S&P 500 Index, which has lost 0.6%.

It's still unclear if announced tariffs will be imposed, and there is no doubt risk of market disruption from a trade war with China is still present. However, even the higher total value of tariffs (estimated at $81 billion) pales versus the potential $800 billion in stimulus being put into the U.S. economy in 2018 via tax cuts, deficit spending, and the return of overseas cash.

Further evidence of a tight labor market was this week's jobless claims report, as applications for unemployment benefits fell 9,000 to 230k. The unemployment rate (4.1%) and underemployment rate (8.0%) are both at cycle lows.

Fear Friday the 13th? Although this is totally random, Friday the 13th has had weaker performance for stocks than your average Friday. The average gain on Friday the 13th (since 1928) for the S&P 500 has been only 0.02%, versus the average Friday gain of 0.05%. Not to mention, the last time there was a Friday the 13th during April was in 2012, when the S&P 500 dropped 1.25%--for the worst Friday-the-13th drop going back 15 years. (LPL)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The Labor Department said consumer prices fell 0.2% in March. The first decline in 10 months. In the last 12 months the CPI is up 2.4%. Gas prices tumbled 4.9%, healthcare costs up 0.4% and apparel prices fell 0.6%.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says total mortgage applications fell 1.9% last week. It is 5.5% lower than one year ago. Refinancing fell to the lowest level in 10 years, down 2% for the week and off nearly 13% from a year ago. Refinances made up just 38% of total loan activity.

Oil prices hit new 2018 highs as missile strikes on Saudi Arabia added to the market's worries about escalating conflict between the United States and Russia in Syria. West Texas Intermediate ended Wednesday up 2%. Its best closing since December 3, 2014. (CNBC)

The Wall Street Journal reports hedge-fund manager John Paulson owes about $1 billion in federal and state taxes this year. His firm has seen assets under management plunged from $38 billion to less than $9 billion in the last year.

Bed Bath & Beyond had a quarterly profit of $1.48 per share, above estimates. Same store sales were down 0.6%.

S&P 500 is up 12 and the NASDAQ is up 37. The MSCI international index is higher.

Oil is down 41 cents at $66.41 a barrel.

Gold is down $11 at $1349 a Troy ounce.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



First quarter earnings season kicks off this week. Several financial companies will report results on April 12-13. The S&P 500 Index has grown earnings at a double-digit clip three out of the past four quarters, and we believe is likely to make it four out of five. S&P 500 earnings, are expected to increase 18% year over year, it should get a boost from the new tax law, on top of strong economic growth globally, robust U.S. manufacturing activity, and a weaker U.S. dollar. (LPL Research)

There's lots of good news for Oregon's economy. Oregon had the fifth-fastest job growth rate of any state from January 2017 - January 2018. And even middle-class jobs are on the upswing in the state. (Eager Law)

In Oregon, the tariffs would apply to such ag products as hazelnuts, pears, berries, apples and wine. China is Oregon's fourth-largest importer of agriculture products, behind South Korea, Canada and Japan. In 2017, Oregon sent more than $320 million in agricultural products to China. China will impose a 15% tariff on hazelnuts. However, China already has a 25% tariff on hazelnuts. (The Register-Guard)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Wall Street's major stock indexes rose yesterday as a softer stance by U.S. policymakers on China tariffs powered a rebound from last week's sell-off, though stocks pared the large gains we saw earlier in the day in the final minutes of the trading session.

And just when you thought the housing market couldn’t get any hotter, the prospect of rising mortgage rates had buyers even more frenzied in March, according to a report out from Credit Suisse.  The monthly survey of real estate agents showed that an index of buyer traffic around the country rose substantially.   Agents’ commentary “remains centered on pent-up demand, especially in more affordable price points, given the persistent inventory shortage.”  The threat of rising mortgage rates is also starting to be felt. Still, as one Seattle real estate agent put it, “Rate increases are causing a sense of urgency, but there is not enough inventory to sell.”

Today is a big day for Facebook and the CEO Mark Zuckerberg who will begin a 2 days of congressional hearings about Facebook user data being improperly used by a political consultancy during the 2016 election.  One of the options congress is looking as is whether Facebook should be regulated.  Shares of Facebook are down over 15% since the news arose.


 



Let’s dig a little deeper into that jobs report released on Friday. The two-month average of over 200,000 remains strong for this point in the economic cycle and leaves the overall trend of solid jobs growth intact. Wage growth, was in line with expectations at 2.7% year over year, a slight acceleration over February's 2.6%. The jobs report confirms the overall picture of solid economic growth, with little in the new numbers to push the Federal Reserve to move faster than its projected three rate hikes in 2018. (LPL)

The manufacturing industry led job gains for the month of March, adding to the sector's streak of solid employment numbers over the past year under President Donald Trump.

The Labor Department said the manufacturing sector added 22,000 jobs in March bringing its 12-month gain to 232,000 jobs. Employment in manufacturing has steadily increased since Trump's election; the manufacturing industry has added 293,000 jobs since November 2016, according to the Department of Labor. Business services sector was up 33,000 jobs. The construction industry was the jobs loser cutting 15,000 jobs in March. The retail industry cut 4,400 jobs in March.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The Department of Labor says the economy added 103,000 new jobs in March. The private sector added
102,000 jobs. The unemployment rate stands at 4.1%.

Portland based Schnitzer Steel reported quarterly earnings of $1.42 per share. That included tax benefits of $0.52 per share associated with the Trump tax reform legislation. (BUSINESS WIRE)

Though disruption to corporate supply chains and higher prices for U.S. consumers are still risks surrounding escalating trade tensions, it is important to keep in mind that the total dollar value of tariff actions to date is only about $32 billion, compared with potentially $800 billion in fresh stimulus being put into the U.S. economy in 2018 alone from tax cuts, the recently-passed federal spending bill, and repatriation of overseas cash. Estimates suggest a potential negative impact of 0.3% on U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) at most, and an even smaller potential hit to China's GDP. (LPL)

Join us this weekend when Troy and Tyler will be back in the saddle to round-up the markets and give you the truth in wealth building.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The ADP March jobs report says the private sector added
241,000 jobs. Job gains were broad-based, spread across both business size and sector. Service providers added 176,000 while goods-producing industries contributed 65,000. Construction and manufacturing led the latter category, adding 31,000 and 29,000 respectively. Medium-sized firms, with 50 to 499 employees, were the top jobs producers with 127,000 new hires, while large firms added 67,000 and small businesses rose by 47,000.

The Commerce Department says factory orders increased 1.2% in March. Orders for mining, oil field and gas field machinery climbed 1.8% and computers up orders were up 3.5%.

The Institute of Supply Management's service sector fell to 58.8 in March. The index shows the service sector has expanded for 98 consecutive months, while the overall economy has grown for the 103rd consecutive month.

J.M. Smucker will buy pet food maker Ainsworth Pet Nutrition for $1.9 billion in cash. The food maker is was exploring sale of its baking business, which includes the Pillsbury and Martha White brands. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Stocks are lower this morning as China announced additional tariffs against the U.S. on 106 U.S. products. The tariffs are designed to target up to $50 billion of U.S. products annually. (CNBC)

We are back into correction territory today after yesterday’s gains pushed them less than 10% away from their recent record highs. (CNBC)

The Paychex Small Business Jobs Index decreased 0.22% from last month and is down 0.27% from a year ago. Paychex said national hourly earnings for the month were $25.67, up 2.73% from last year.

Oregon could be getting its first tech IPO in more than a decade. Clark County laser manufacturer nLight has filed to go public last week. The last Oregon tech company to go public was Cascade Microtech in 2004. The company has more than 1,000 employees at sites around the world. (OregonLive)

Dave & Buster's reported a quarterly profit of 61 cents per share, beating estimates. The restaurant chain's revenue matched forecasts, but comparable store sales posted a larger than expected decline. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Quarterly win streak ends at nine for the S&P 500. The S&P 500 slipped 0.8% during the volatile first quarter that saw the index suffer its first 10% correction since early 2016. Weakness was driven by several factors, including Federal Reserve rate hike fears, which were sparked by evidence of wage pressures and the change in leadership at the central bank; and escalating trade tensions with China. Winners in the quarter included: growth, small caps, technology, consumer discretionary, and emerging markets. (LPL)

Market fundamentals remain favorable. The down quarter does not necessarily mean fundamentals have deteriorated. While risks associated with protectionist U.S. trade policy should be acknowledged, we continue to expect economic growth to accelerate this year, in large part due to the effects of the new tax law, which should give earnings a significant boost. (LPL)

The Institute for Supply Management index of national factory activity fell to 59.3 in March.  Seventeen industries including fabricated metal products, computer and electronic products, machinery and chemical products reported growth last month. Apparel, leather and allied products was the only industry reporting a decrease.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



China is rolling out new tariffs on meat, fruit, and other products from the United States in retaliation against taxes approved by President Donald Trump on imported steel and aluminum. (CNBC)

Under Armour has told users of its MyFitnessPal app of a data breach, with 150 million users affected. The athletic apparel maker did say that payment card information was not affected by the breach.

Workers at a Portland Burgerville are filing for a federal union election. The 2-year-old union is pushing for a $5 hour raise. If successful this would be the first federally recognized fast-food workers union in the U.S. The Industrial Workers of the World known for its anti-capitalist leanings has previously tried to organize workers at Starbucks and Jimmy John's. Burgerville, owned by Holland Inc., has about 1,500 employees in Oregon and southern Washington. (OregonLive)

Boyd Coffee is ending operations in Portland and Eugene. Terminating 230 people, including 135 in Oregon. Boyd sold in 2017 to Texas coffee roaster, Farmer Bros., for $58.6 million in cash and stock. Operations are moving to Texas. Boyd dates its founding to 1900 in Portland. (OregonLive)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The countdown until Brexit Day has begun, with only a year until the U.K. leaves the EU on March 29, 2019. European leaders have agreed to a transition deal, which extends Britain's de-facto membership until the end of 2020, but there are still several outstanding difficulties: including how the U.K. can leave the single market and customs union, but still maintain full economic access, frictionless trade, and no physical border in Ireland. (SA)

Creating a cross-border trading powerhouse, U.S. exchange operator CME Group has agreed to buy U.K.-based NEX for about £3.9B. The deal would be CME's largest since it bought Nymex for $11B in 2008, and would mark the first time the same company owned the dominant markets for fixed income, foreign exchange futures and their underlying securities. (FT)

As we near the end of tax time, good news for some out there: The percentage of individuals receiving tax audits declined for the sixth consecutive year in 2017 to reach the lowest level since 2002. The IRS, which has lost nearly one-third of its enforcement staffers since the 2010 peak, audited just 0.62% of individual returns in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to data released today. The audit of about 1 in 160 individual returns in 2017 is down from 1 in 90 in 2010, the peak year in the past decade. (WSJ)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.

 



Equity markets are wobbly once again amid a tech shakeout, but investors today will also be focusing on the U.S. economy and GDP data. The numbers just out this morning show Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.9 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2017, in the Commerce Department's final revision of the numbers.  That was a slight moderation from the third quarter's brisk 3.2 percent pace. (CNBC)

Even after yesterday's $125bn auction, Uncle Sam still has plans to sell another $175bn of debt this week, cumulatively the highest weekly figure since the record set during the 2008 financial crisis. It comes amid concerns about declining federal revenue due to tax cuts, and increased spending in Washington. Those worries have contributed to rising Treasury rates this year. (FT)

Self-driving concerns are spreading across the industry following UBER's pedestrian fatality last week. Nvidia shares lost as much as 10% on Tuesday after the chipmaker announced it would suspend self-driving tests across the globe. Uber has also let its autonomous vehicle permit lapse in California, intending not to operate on "public roads in the immediate future." (SA)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.
 



Yesterday saw the S&P 500 Index post its biggest one-day gain since August 2015. The positive sentiment fed through to global markets with Asian stocks advancing higher overnight, and in Europe, all industry sectors are positive.  (Bloomberg)

While it may be a shortened trading week with the market closed for Good Friday, there is no lack of drivers for the market into the end of first quarter. The latest house price data and Consumer Confidence numbers are due later today, and the U.S. Treasury continues with its record week for debt issuance with nearly $125bn of Tbills and Notes slated to be auctioned today.  (FT)

Saudi Arabia's crown prince will rub shoulders today with top figures from Corporate America and Wall Street, by taking part in the 2018 Saudi US-CEO Forum in New York. Mohammed bin Salman is also drumming up capital and reviewing investment opportunities with an old partner and tech investor, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son. (SA)

Puerto Rico bonds rallied heavily on Monday after the island released a revised financial turnaround plan thanks to an influx of insurance money and federal aid following Hurricane Maria. While the economy is projected to shrink by about 10.6% in the current fiscal year, the government now anticipates it will expand over 7% in 2019 and continue to grow for years.  (SA)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.
 



U.S. stock index futures are pointing to sharp gains on reports that the Trump administration sent a letter to Chinese economic overseer Liu He setting out specific requests to help slash China's trade surplus with the U.S. They include seeking a tariff cut on U.S. automobiles, more Chinese purchases of U.S. semiconductors, and greater access to China's financial sector by American companies. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is also weighing a trip to Beijing, with China willing to hold talks over trade differences. (SA)

South Korea is next to escape President Trump's metal tariffs after revising its six-year-old bilateral trade deal with the U.S. It will see Seoul double its import quota for American-made cars and reduce the amount of steel it sends into the United States. South Korea will also allow the U.S. to keep its 25% tariffs on pickup trucks in place for 20 more years. (SA)

Boeing delivered its first 787-10 Dreamliner to Singapore Airlines on Sunday, rounding out a family of lightweight jets on which the U.S. planemaker is betting its future. The Boeing (NYSE:BA) aircraft, which sells for $326M at list prices, has a range of 6,430 nautical miles and seats around 330 passengers, 40 more than the 787-9 and 88 more than the 787-8. (FT)

Finally, Remington Outdoor, America's oldest gunmaker, has filed for bankruptcy protection.  The North Carolina-based maker of firearms and ammunition filed a pre-packaged Chapter 11 filing in federal bankruptcy court on Sunday.  Remington, founded in 1816, said in the filing that it has between $100m - $500m in both assets and liabilities.  (FT)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.



U.S. stocks ended with slight losses yesterday in a volatile trading session, as investors digested an interest-rate hike and the latest commentary from the Federal Reserve.

The U.S. central bank raised interest rates for the sixth time since the end of 2015, as had been widely expected, and it stuck to its prior forecast of three rate hikes in 2018. Some investors had expected a more aggressive pace, with four hikes this year. However, the outlook for 2019 did move up; the Fed expects three rate hikes in 2019, rather than two.

Sales of previously-owned homes snapped a two-month losing streak, jumping 3.0% from January.  It’s a familiar story for housing: supply of homes for sale were at the lowest level for any February on record. At February’s sales pace, it would take 3.4 months to exhaust available inventory, about half the amount of time considered a marker of a healthy market. Supply was 8.1% lower than a year ago, and homes spent an average of 37 days on the market.

It has taken a little more than six months for the U.S. national debt to grow by a trillion dollars.  Last week, the debt hit $21 trillion for the first time, rising from the $20 trillion mark it notched on September 8th.



Macy's has been testing mobile checkout. The platform allows shoppers to scan bar codes with their phones, as they shop. Discounts and rewards will be applied, via a shopper's loyalty account. (CNBC)

Bend has the last Blockbuster video store outside of Alaska. There are four stores in Alaska. Blockbuster once had more than 9,000 US locations.  In 2011, Blockbuster became part of DISH network. (AP)

Digiday found that just 20% of retailers advertise on Amazon, none of which are spending more than 50 percent of their marketing budget on Amazon. 27% say they plan to advertise on Amazon in the coming year.

USDA data showed importers are buying US corn at the fastest rate since the mid-1990s, as tightening stocks in Latin America prompt a rush to purchase cargoes of the grain from animal feeders worldwide. Net export sales of corn totaled 2.6 million metric tons in the week ended March 8, up 35% from the previous week.

55% of American households subscribe to at least one video streaming service, spending $2.1 billion a month. The average streaming customer has already subscribed to three services. (CNBC)

Long-time Bend businessman and owner of the Bend north Subway, Jeff Moore, passed on Sunday.  He was a graduate of Bend Senior High class of 1980.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



The U.S. economic calendar includes the Fed's monetary policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, where analysts expect a 0.25% rate hike announcement. (LPL)

Another shutdown? Political risk is hardly new for investors, but markets may be increasingly focused on Washington, D.C. this week. Congress must agree to details on its spending bill by the end of the week or face another partial government shutdown. A shutdown, which we view as unlikely, would almost certainly be short-lived; but with 60 votes needed in the Senate, an impasse is possible. (LPL)

U.S. stock-focused funds took in $43.3 billion last week, a new record, according to Bank of America. Investor pessimism is at its lowest level since early this year.

Tween store Claire's, with 7,500 stores has filed for bankruptcy. It will restructure $1.9 billion in debt. The company started business in 1978. The company plans to emerge from Chapter 11 in September. Their voluntary Chapter 11 filing should allow them to keep operating while it works out a plan to turn the business around and pay its creditors. (Bloomberg)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Wells Fargo is in more hot water as U.S. regulators are said to be preparing sanctions for the bank for receiving commissions on auto insurance policies that were forced on more than 500,000 customers. (Reuters)

Walmart is expanding its online grocery delivery service to 800 stores by the end of 2018. The expansion will serve more than 40% of U.S. households. Walmart's grocery delivery business will be supported by a number of partners, including Uber. It expects to make online order pickup of groceries available at about 2,200 stores before 2019. Shoppers will pay a flat delivery fee of $9.95, and an order must contain at least $30 worth of items. (CNBC)

Housing starts fall more than expected. Housing starts in the United States fell 7.0% month over month in February dragged down by multifamily construction starts which dropped more than 26%. Building permits also fell for the month, with permits for single-family homes slipping 0.6%. Despite the drop, it is important to remember that housing starts remain near post-recession highs, and the rate of construction in January was the highest since 2008. In addition, the market remains buoyed by a strong labor market and firm economic fundamentals. (LPL)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



According to the BLS from February 2017 to February 2018, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2,281,000, or 1.6%. Employment in mining and logging increased by 58,000, an increase of 8.9%, while construction added 254,000 jobs, or 3.7%.

China's economy looks to be on firm footing, with strong export demand spurring increases in industrial production (+7.2%) and fixed asset investment (+7.9%) over the first two months of the year. Also, retail sales remained strong, growing 9.7% year over year. The data suggest China's estimated 6.5% target growth for gross domestic product is certainly attainable. (LPL)

Oregon’s Lattice Semiconductor's longtime CEO Dan Billerbeck is retiring. He has run the company since 2010. The company makes programmable computer chips for smartphones and digital cameras. (OL)

The Senate votes to ease onerous regulation on small- and medium-sized banks. The move to roll back part of the Dodd-Frank law, which still needs to pass the House, would reduce the number of banks considered systemically important and subject to the toughest oversight by raising the asset threshold from $50 billion to $250 billion. (LPL)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

 



The Commerce Department says retail sales fell 0.1%. That is a three month decline. In February, auto sales fell 0.9%, service stations declined 1.2%, receipts at clothing stores gained 0.4% and sales at online retailers surged 1.0%.

The Labor Department said U.S. producer prices increased 0.2% in February. The year-on-year increase in the PPI is 2.8%.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association interest rates for home loans have risen each week this year. A drop in refinances last week kept mortgage application volume basically unchanged from the previous week.
The refinance share of all mortgage applications fell to 40%, the lowest since 2008.

Is the Nasdaq finally at new highs? The Nasdaq has had a great year, up nearly 9%. The issue is the strong performance has many saying tech and the Nasdaq are potentially in bubbles. Here's the catch, if you adjust for inflation, the Nasdaq only recently surpassed the record set in 2000. Maybe it isn't as extended as many claim? (LPL)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

 



NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends Survey for February shows that business optimism rose to 107.6, continuing its streak of record highs that include a jump in the number of small business owners increasing compensation and capital outlays. The historically high readings indicate that policy changes – lower taxes and fewer regulations – are transformative for small businesses.

Job creation remained solid in the small-business sector with 52% of small business owners saying they are currently hiring, but they continue to have difficulty finding qualified workers, according to the monthly National Federation of Independent Business Jobs Report.

The Labor Department says consumer prices rose 0.2% in February. On a year-over-year basis, the consumer price index rose 2.2%. A decline in energy prices helped keep inflation in check while apparel contributed the most to gains.

Vail Resorts is raising the minimum wage at its resorts from $11 per hour to $12.25 per hour. Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said that the increase will be covered by a $40 million cash savings that the company expects to see in 2018 from the Trump tax bill. (AP)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The Wall Street Journal reports Goldman Sachs' CEO Lloyd Blankfein will step at the end of the year,

Breaking down the jobs report for February a bit further, the headline figure of 313,000 was the most for any month since July 2016. Construction jobs grew by 61,000, professional and business services rose 50,000, manufacturing added 31,000 and retail jobs growth was up 50,000. (BLS)

The total labor force surged by 806,000, the biggest move since September 2003, and now sits just below 162 million. The labor force participation rate rose to 63% the highest since September. (BLS)

Stock buybacks in 2018 have averaged $4.8 billion a day, double the pace for the same period a year ago, according to TrimTabs. J P Morgan predicts that stock repurchases will total about $800 billion this year, a new record.

U.S. Steel has increased its full-year earnings forecast, noting President Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The company now expects earnings of $885 million for this year, compared to its prior forecast of $685 million. (Reuters)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



As part of Fridays big jobs report the Labor Department says average hourly earnings grew by 0.1% over last month. Year over year, wage gains were to 2.6%. The strong jobs growth, but contained wage inflation, helps to quell fears of rising inflation.

52% of Disney shareholders voted to reject an executive compensation plan that could reward CEO Bob Iger with up to $48.5 million, a compensation tied to the closing of a planned acquisition of film and TV assets from 21st Century Fox. (FOX).

Shares of Toys R Us debtholders Hasbro and Mattel have seen their stock prices fall after CNBC reported, that Toys R Us may soon liquidate its U.S. operations.

Oregonians won't get a state tax break on money they save to pay for K-12 private schooling even though the Trump tax cuts allow the use of 529 accounts for it. Oregon Democrats said they opposed using the state's college savings plan for private education.

On 10th anniversary of Bear Stearns' collapse, a Senate bill with strong support from both sides of the aisle would loosen regulation for smaller banks.

The S&P 500 is up 5 and the NASDAQ is up 30. The MSCI international index is higher.

Oil is down 46 cents at $61.58 a barrel.

Gold is down $8 at $1316 a Troy ounce.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



The big jobs report is out, and the Labor Department says the economy added 313,000 jobs in February.  The private sector accounted for 287,000 of those new jobs.  The unemployment rate is 4.1%.

The European Central Bank CB made no changes to interest rates. However, the central bank removed a line from previous statements: "...the Governing Council stands ready to increase the asset purchase program in terms of size and/or duration." The punch bowl is being pulled from the party. (LPL)

Since talk of tariffs and a trade war started, the Russell 2000 is up 3.6%, while the S&P 500 is up 0.5%. The last time small caps did this well relative to large caps was back in November 2016. Year to date, the Russell 2000 is actually up more than the S&P 500. (LPL).

Nordstrom has it bought BevyUp and MessageYes, two digital retailers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. BevyUp is a platform that allows sales associates and shoppers to communicate with each other and MessageYes allows the company to text customers, leveraging artificial intelligence and integrated payments. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



The Commerce Department says the trade deficit rose to $56.6 billion in January up 5% from the prior month. Exports fell 1.3% in January, and imports were flat.

The Labor Department says unit labor costs rose at a 2.5% annualized rate in the 4th quarter of 2017. Hourly compensation in the fourth quarter was up to a 2.4%. Worker productivity was unchanged. Worker productivity has increased at an average annual rate of 1.2% from 2007 to 2017, below its long-term rate of 2.1% from 1947 to 2017.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says total mortgage application volume was up 0.3% last week. They were 5% lower than one year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 1% for the week and was 1% higher than a year ago. The ARM share of mortgage activity increased to 7.3% of total applications, its highest level since June.

The ADP Employment report says private sector companies added 235,000 jobs in February.

Coca-Cola is planning to produce an alcoholic drink for the first time in its history. The drink will be released in Japan. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



 



Yesterday the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 2,728 after falling as much as much as 0.4% earlier in the day. The Nasdaq composite closed up 0.6% at 7,372. (CNBC)

The meaningful rise in yields from recent lows in September represent a healthy repricing of economic fundamentals, meaning yields are unlikely to return to those depressed levels. Higher levels of growth and inflation (domestically and globally), in addition to a more aggressive Federal Reserve, are fundamental reasons why higher yields are warranted. (LPL)

Domestic stock funds saw investors withdraw $41.1 billion during February according to TrimTabs. Outflows were evenly distributed between exchange-traded funds (-$19.6 billion) and mutual funds (-$21.5 billion). Global funds went in the other direction, attracting $17.9 billion.

 

Lego's sales fell in 2017 for the first time since 2004 as the Danish toymaker cleared excess inventories and struggled

with tough retail markets in Europe and North America. (Reuters)

The Commerce Department said new orders for U.S.-made goods in fell 1.4%. The largest drop since July 2017.


 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

 

If you would like an audio version for use every business morning contact Troy Reinhart at Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management

 



Yesterday the S&P 500 rose 1.1% to 2,721 after briefly trading lower, with utilities as the best-performing sector. The Nasdaq advanced 1% to close at 7,330.

Prices for wood products are rising as lumber yards try to stock up ahead of what looks likely to be a busy home-building season this spring. A lumber shortage has pushed prices to record highs. (Topix)

The problems continue at Wells Fargo as it looks into problematic fee calculations in its wealth management unit. It is also reviewing whether some referrals and recommendations affecting 401(k) rollovers were inappropriate. (Think Advisor)

The Institute of Supply Management's index of non-manufacturing industries slipped to 59.5 but still remained near historic highs. Anything above 50 is expansion.

The International Energy Agency revised U.S. oil output growth up sharply, noting the USA would be producing a total of nearly 17 million barrels per day in 2023. U.S. crude oil production has already risen past that of top exporter Saudi Arabia, to 10.28 million barrels per day.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Since February 5th, when Jerome Powell took over as the new Fed chair, the S&P 500 has moved at least 1% (up or down) 13 times out of 19 days. To put that in perspective, the S&P 500 moved 1% a total of 8 days in all 251 trading days of 2017. (LPL)

Nordstrom saw a healthy 2.6% increase in same store sales in the fourth quarter. Overall net sales increased 6.4%. Nordstrom Rack net sales rose 15%, while same-store sales increased 3.7%. The company reported a fourth-quarter profit of $151 million compared with $201 million a year-ago. Sales came in at $4.6 billion. (AP)

Sam's Club, a division of Walmart, is partnering with Instacart to offer same-day delivery. (CNBC)

More problems for DHL. First it was chicken, now there's a gravy shortage at KFC locations in the United Kingdom. Some restaurant are serving a limited menu, with many not serving gravy at all.  It all originates from a new delivery system using DHL. (Bloomberg)

An Oregon mega-dairy could be shut down immediately in a state lawsuit. Lost Valley Farm opened in April 2017 near Boardman to supply the makers Tillamook Cheese. Its permit allows for up to 30,000 animals. (SSJ)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The Commerce Department said U.S. consumer prices increased in January by 0.4%. In the 12 months the PCE price index rose 1.7%.

Consumer spending gained 0.2% in January. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending fell 0.1%. (Reuters)

The Labor Department said claims for unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to its lowest level since December 1969. It was the 156th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is the longest such stretch since 1970.

The Commerce Department reported personal income rose 0.4% in January. Wages increased 0.5%, bolstered by bonuses that businesses gave workers as part of the Trump tax-cut. The saving rate jumped to 3.2%.

The Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing index jumped to 60.8 in February.

The Commerce Department said construction spending was flat in January. Construction spending increased 3.2% on a year-on-year basis.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



February ended the record 15 month win streak (on a total return basis) for the S&P 500. The good news is March and April are historically two of the best months of the year for equities. In fact, over the past 10 and 20 years, March ranks as the second best month in terms of average return. (LPL Research)

The National Association of Realtors said pending home sales dropped 4.7% in January.

The Conference Board said U.S. consumer confidence jumped to 130.8, a 17-year high, as optimism about employment prospects grew and Americans began seeing additional money in their paychecks from recently enacted Trump tax cuts.

US thermal coal exports increased by 117% last year to 42 million tons. (Wall Street Journal)
 
McDonald's is partnering with Disney after more than a decade of severed ties. The two parted ways over childhood obesity rates and children's meals at fast food restaurants. In mid-February McDonald's said that it was revamping its Happy Meal menu to offer selections that were lower in calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Macy's had a great holiday shopping season as same store sales climbed 1.4%. The company earned $1.3 billion, or $4.31 per share, in the fourth quarter on revenue of $8.67 billion. (AP)

The Commerce Department on Tuesday reported overall orders for durable goods, items ranging from toasters to aircraft meant to last three years or more, tumbled 3.7% in January. It was the biggest drop in six months.

The Commerce Department also reported the trade deficit rose 3.0% to $74.4 billion in January. Exports fell $3.1 billion to $133.9 billion and imports slipped $0.9 billion to $208.3 billion.

They also said wholesale inventories increased 0.7% percent in January. Retail inventories rose 0.8%.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home prices index increased 6.3% compared with December 2016.

Genworth Mortgage Insurance reports first-time buyer share of single-family home purchases was 38% in 2017, the highest since 2000. First-time homebuyers purchased 7% more homes than in 2016.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before Congress today.

The Oregon senate passed a bill last week that would decouple Oregon tax law from federal tax law on the issue of a new federal deduction for pass-through business income. This could mean the federal deductions of the Trump tax reform law will not apply to Oregon small businesses, including LLCs or S-Corps. (Eager Law)

The Commerce Department said sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell 7.8% in January. Home sales are being constrained by a severe shortage of houses, especially on the lower end of the market, that is pushing up prices and sidelining some first-time buyers. In January, there were 301,000 new homes on the market, an increase of 2.4% and the highest level since March 2009. The stock of new homes still remains well below its peak during the housing market bubble in 2006.

The maker of tasty treats like Spam canned ham and Dinty Moore stew, Hormel Foods reported a quarterly profit of $303.1 million. On sales of $2.33 billion. Hormel shares have dropped 10% in 2018 and are down 13% in the last 12 months. (AP)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



In the U.S. as major indexes were little changed last week.
Subdued Treasury price changes likely contributed to renewed confidence, as the 10-year yield met resistance just below the key 3% level. European markets were also largely flat on the week, despite a series of economic data points that suggest the economy may be peaking. In Asia, Chinese markets were closed for much of the week following the Lunar New Year; Japan’s Nikkei ended the week modestly in the green. (LPL)

Red Robin reported fourth-quarter profits of $8.8 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The Greenwood Village, Colorado-based company posted revenue of $342.4 million in the period. For the year, the company reported profit of $30 million, on revenue of $1.38 billion. Red Robin shares have dropped 6% since the beginning of the year. (AP)

The Nordstrom family continues work on a deal to take the company private before it reports earnings next Thursday. Reports say Nordstrom has yet to put together a financing package. The family group, owns 31.2% of Nordstrom. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



We have now actual read those FOMC minutes that spooked markets on Wednesday despite the central bank striking a decidedly upbeat tone on the U.S. economy. The data cited was consistent with above-trend growth in economic activity, the labor market, and household and business spending.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 1.0% in January to 108.1. The U.S. LEI continues to point to robust economic growth in the first half of 2018. The leading indicators reflect an economy with widespread strengths coming from financial conditions, manufacturing, residential construction, and labor markets.

European economic growth has been impressive in recent quarters but there is some evidence that their economy may be peaking. The latest Eurozone Composite PMI Index for February fell month over month. (LPL)

Stocks over bonds again? The bull market will turn nine next month, but another streak is taking place as stocks (measured by the S&P 500) have topped bonds (measured by the 10-year Treasury bond) for six consecutive years. Should it happen again in 2018, an all-time record will be reached. (LPL)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Mortgage applications fell 6.6% last week and 3.5% higher than a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications to refinance fell 7% for the week and were 2.8% higher than a year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 6% for the week and were 3% higher than a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors says existing home sales dropped 3.2% in January. Existing home sales, which account for about 90% of U.S. home sales, declined 4.8% on a year-on-year basis. At January's sales pace, it would take 3.4 months to exhaust the current inventory. A six-to-seven-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand. The median house price increased 5.8% from a year ago to $240,500.

Davos Brands, a New York wine and spirits firm has acquired House Spirits Distillery's Aviation American Gin brand. House Spirits will continue to produce the gin at its distillery in Portland. (PBJ)

Sometimes it is not all rainbows and unicorns in the market but it is somewhere.  Lucky Charms the magically delicious cereal is adding a new charm to the mix for the first time in ten years. A unicorn with pink-and-blue striped mane and horn.  It will appear staring in March. (FBN)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

If you would like an audio version for use every business morning contact Troy Reinhart at Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management



The S&P 500 gained 4.3% last week, for the best weekly gain since early 2013. Of course, this comes on the heels of a 5.2% drop the week before. Nonetheless, after the quickest move to a 10% correction from a new high ever (9 days) for the S&P 500, the recent bounce is quite impressive. (LPL)

With about 80% of S&P 500 companies having reported fourth quarter 2017 results, earnings growth is tracking to a 15% year-over-year increase, 3% better than expectations. Quarterly revenue is tracking to an 8% year-over-year increase. After rising 3% last week, earnings estimates for 2018 are now up 7% since January and reflect a 19% increase over 2017. (LPL)

KFC has been forced to close almost all 900 of its British stores because of a shortage of chicken. The problem arose after the chain switched its delivery contract to DHL.

La-Z-Boy reported quarterly profits of $12.1 million. The furniture company posted sales of $413.6 million in the period. La-Z-Boy shares have fallen 7.5% since the beginning of the year and are down about 1% over the last 12 months. (AP)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



The Labor Department said U.S. import prices rose 1% in January. In the last 12 months import prices increased 3.6%. Prices for imported oil increased 4.3%, and imported autos jumped 0.5%. Export prices rose 0.8% in January. They have increased 3.4% on a year-on-year basis.

The University of Michigan U.S. consumer sentiment index rose in February to 99.9, the second-highest level since 2004. The current conditions gauge climbed to 115.1. Year-ahead inflation expectations were unchanged at 2.7%.

The Commerce Department said new home construction increased 9.7% in January. Building permits surged 7.4%, the highest level since June 2007.

Rite Aid is merging with Albertsons in a deal that could generate $83 billion in revenue. Rite Aid shareholders will have the right to exchange 10 shares for 1 Albertsons share, as well as $1.83 in cash, or 1.079 Albertsons share. Albertsons would own about 72% of the combined group. The new company will have 4,900 stores, 4,350 pharmacy counters and 320 clinics across 38 states. (AP)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The S&P 500 has recovered about two-thirds of the losses from the recent sell-off, with the Nasdaq recovering about 80%. Both are on five-session winning streaks. (CNBC)

The Labor Department said U.S. producer prices accelerated 0.4% last month. The PPI rose 2.7% in the 12 months. Last month, the cost of hospital outpatient care surged 1.0%, wholesale goods prices increased 0.7%, and gasoline prices rose 7.1%.

The National Association of Home Builders Confidence Index was unchanged in February from the prior month, remaining at 72. A year ago, the index was 65.

Coca-Cola's profits dropped 20% for the quarter. Organic sales were up 6%. Earnings in the period were hurt by a $3.6 billion one-time charge related to new U.S. tax laws. For the year, Coke reported sales of $35.4 billion, down 15% from last year. Water sales grew 2%, coffee and tea grew 2%, carbonated soft drinks were flat and juice, dairy, and plant-based drinks declined 2%. Coca-Cola boosted its annual dividend by 5.4% to $1.56 a share.

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when Tyler and I will tell you how to respond to these rising interest rates.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 2.904% its highest level since January 2014, and slightly above the levels of earlier this month. The yield on the 10-year note hit the high exactly midway through the trading day yesterday. (CNBC)

The Commerce Department said retail sales fell in January by 0.3%. Consumer spending increased at a 3.8% annual rate in the fourth quarter. Auto sales fell 1.3%, service stations rose 1.6%, sales at building material stores dropped 2.4% receipts at sporting goods and hobby stores fell 0.8%.

The Labor Department reported consumer prices rose by 0.5% in January That was up 1.8% from a year ago. The 1.7% gain in apparel prices was the biggest since 1990. Women’s apparel costs jumped a record 3.4%, the report showed.

The networking equipment and software company Cisco had a quarterly profit of 63 cents per share last quarter. That beat estimates. They had their first year-over-year rise in revenue in more than two years and announced a $25 billion addition to its stock buyback program. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index jumped two points to 106.9 in January. Now Is a Good Time to Expand registered at 32% an all-time record. Actual Earnings climbed up 11 points from December, the highest level reported since 1988. As small business owners struggle to find qualified workers for open positions, reports of higher worker compensation rose four percent, the highest reading since 2000 and among the highest in the 45 years of NFIB’s survey.

In its monthly oil market report, OPEC increased its forecast for crude supply by 1.4 million barrels per day.  The increase in its supply forecast is driven almost entirely by U.S. production, which in November topped 10 million BPD for the first time since 1970 and is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia's production levels this year.

The Department of Agriculture announced it projects farm profits will drop 6.7% in 2018 to $59.5 billion, the lowest since 2006 and down 52% from a record 2013.

A report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas suggests this season’s flu epidemic is crippling small business productivity. The analysis projects that the season could lead to a total of $15.4 billion in lost productivity for the US economy.  

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.


 



The S&P 500 gained 1.4% yesterday. The Nasdaq advanced 1.6%. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to a four-year high on Monday before closing at 2.858%. (CNBC)

With 70% of the S&P 500 reporting, fourth quarter earnings growth is up 14.7% year over year. A solid 78% have beaten earnings estimates. Energy, financials, and technology have been the biggest contributors to growth. S&P 500 revenue growth is tracking to an 8% year-over-year increase. Estimates for full-year 2018 now reflect an 18.5% increase over 2017. This week, 57 S&P 500 companies will report quarterly results. (LPL)

Restaurant Brands International owners of Burger King, Tim Horton's and Popeye's, said profits in the fourth quarter rose to $395 million. Total sales climbed 11% to $1.23 billion. Same-store sales at its Burger King restaurants jumped 4.6%. (AP)

Pepsi reported a fourth-quarter loss of $710 million. Earnings were hurt by a $2.5 billion one-time charge related to new U.S. tax laws. Sales growth in Europe Sub-Saharan Africa, jumped 11%, Latin America up 6% and North America down 6%. (AP)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The S&P 500 is officially in a correction, as it has pulled back 10% for the first time since early 2016. Since 1950, on average there have been about three 5% pullbacks a year, one 10% correction a year, and one 20% bear market decline every seven years. Also, this is the first time in history the S&P 500 went from a new high to a correction in 9 days or less. (LPL)

Volatility continues. Global equity markets fell again last week. Over the past 5 days the S&P 500 has lost 8.5%, marking the worst 5-day stretch since August 2015. To put things in perspective, the S&P 500 pulled back 2.8% (peak to trough) all of last year--the second smallest intra-year pullback ever. Two separate days last week saw larger pullbacks. (LPL)

The Commerce Department says wholesale inventories in December increased 0.4% to a value of $612.1 billion. At current levels, it would take wholesalers 1.22 months to clear their shelves.

Ford is increasing production of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator by 25%. It says it can sell every single vehicle it produces in the company's Louisville truck plant. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Stocks fell sharply on Thursday entering correction territory. The stock indices closed at their lowest level since late November. Stocks are on track to post their biggest weekly decline since October 2008. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to 2.88%, holding around multi-year highs. (CNBC)

 

The Chinese yuan was down more than 1% Thursday the currency's biggest one-day drop since August 2015. The move, which does not appear directly related to any government action, but was sparked by strong Chinese import growth (+37% in U.S. dollar terms), which dwarfed forecasts for an 11% gain. (LPL)

 

While the earnings expansion is global in nature, expectations for earnings growth in 2018 for the U.S. (+17-18% based on consensus estimates) are ahead of the 14% increase expected in emerging markets and the 10% expected in developed foreign markets. U.S. earnings are enjoying the highest number of positive revisions, in large part due to the boost from the new tax law. (LPL)

 

The S&P 500 is up 8 and the NASDAQ is up 10. The MSCI international index is lower.

Oil is down 90 cents at $60.23 a barrel. Down 8% for the week.

Gold is down $1 at $1319 a Troy ounce.

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

 



With about half of the S&P 500 having reported results, fourth quarter earnings are tracking to a 13.6% year-over-year increase. A solid 78% of companies have beaten earnings estimates for the quarter. Perhaps most impressive is the revenue upside, with 80% of companies beating consensus forecasts, well above recent and long-term averages in the 50s. (LPL)

 

Wilsonville-based Flir Systems makers of night vision equipment for the defense industry has sold its Canadian subsidiary Lorex for $29 million in cash. Lorex makes security cameras for retail and small businesses. (Oregon Live)

 

According the Department of Energy the United States will export more energy products than it imports by 2022. It would mark the first year the U.S. energy exports surpassed imports since 1953.

 

McDonald’s will spend its tax savings from President Trump’s sweeping tax bill into remodeling stores in the U.S. and opening an additional 1,000 stores worldwide this year. In the fourth quarter, sales at restaurants jumped 5.5% worldwide and 4.5% in the U.S. (CNBC)

 

The S&P 500 is down 6 and the NASDAQ is down 2. The MSCI international index is higher.

Oil is down 55 cents at $61.24 a barrel.

Gold is down $2 at $1313 a Troy ounce.

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

 



With a record 15-month win streak for the S&P 500 on a total return basis still alive as of the end of January 2018, there is little doubt that market participants have been spoiled by the lack of volatility and upward bias in equities. The past week has been a harsh reminder that pullbacks do happen and although it is never fun when it happens, remember that this is a normal part of investing and illustrates why having a plan in place ahead of such pullbacks is so important. Could this weakness continue? Absolutely. But, we do not believe this is the start of a new major bear market; more a potentially healthy shakeout of weak hands. (LPL)

Monday was Jerome Powell's first day as Fed chair, and the S&P 500 dropped 4.1%, marking the worst daily drop since August 2011. We also saw the largest jump ever for the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) up 115%, closing above 37 for the first time since August 2015. The Dow closed down 1,175 points, which was the largest point drop ever. However, to put things in perspective, it was only the 112th largest percentage drop ever (since 1896). Some streaks ended as well, as the S&P 500 finally corrected 5% for the first time in 404 days (the longest ever), while the S&P 500 turned negative year to date for the first time in 403 days (fifth longest ever). (LPL)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Pullbacks like this are not uncommon historically and happen frequently in normal market cycles. In an average year there are typically pullbacks in a range of 5%-10% with an average recovery time lasting about a month. We hadn’t seen a 3% correction in 445 days until yesterday, which is the longest run in history. This pullback appears to be a very normal event. (Main Mgmt)

The S&P 500 fell 3.8% last week, for the worst weekly decline since early 2016. Volatility continues to rule so far in 2018, as the S&P 500 has now gained or lost at least 2% for the week 3 of the 5 weeks so far this year. To put this into perspective, not a single week last year changed 2% up or down. The 4.6% drop yesterday was the single largest drop for the S&P 500 since August 2011. (LPL)

The Institute of Supply Management index of non-manufacturing activity hit 59.9 in January. Anything above 50 denotes growth.

The Federal Reserve imposed penalties against Wells Fargo blocking its ability to grow and firing four board members following widespread consumer abuses. Wells Fargo will not be allowed to grow its $1.95 trillion in assets until the Fed approves a remediation plan. (AP)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Don’t let this market correction scare you into doing something silly.  This market correction is long overdue, healthy and part of a normal market. As long as your portfolio is well diversified, spread across the major asset classes and quality in nature you have nothing to fear.  If you have long maturity bonds, interest rate sensitive products and risky investments now is the time to seek qualified advice. Just to put this in perspective, markets are still up for 2018.

Wage pressures increased in January, with average hourly earnings rising 2.9% year over year, an expansion high. (LPL)

The Commerce Department said orders for U.S.-made goods increased 1.7% in December. In December, orders for machinery rose 0.4%, orders for transportation equipment surged 7.1%, orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components fell 0.9% and orders for computers and electronic products slipped 0.1%.

The University of Michigan's survey of consumer attitudes for January slipped to 95.7 in January. The index now sits only 1.1 points below the 96.8 average reading for 2017 – the highest yearly average in 17 years. The index reached 101.1 in October, the highest level since 2004.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



The Labor Department says the US economy added 200,000 jobs in January -- 196,000 were private sector jobs. The unemployment rate is 4.1%.

The Labor Department said U.S. worker productivity dipped 0.1% in the fourth quarter. It was the first drop and weakest performance since the first quarter of 2016.
Productivity increased 1.2% in the 2017, the strongest performance since 2015.

The Commerce Department said U.S. construction spending increased 0.7% in December to an all-time high of $1.25 trillion. Spending on private construction projects rose 0.8% to a record high of $963.2 billion.

The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index in January fell 0.2% to 59.1 in December.

Mondelez International beat the street by a penny with quarterly profits of 57 cents per share. Mondelez saw strong growth in emerging markets and strong demand for Cadbury and Oreo products in Europe. (CNBC)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will tackle the question – Is the correction finally here?

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



The S&P 500 had its best January since the 1990s. The Dow hasn't fallen in February since 2009, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have only one negative February during that time. (CNBC)

The National Association for Business Economics found 47% of respondents said their sales rose over the past three months and half of the surveys’ respondents said that their wages rose over the past three months. (AP)

The Small Business Admin. found that small business loan origination is still only 40% of pre-financial crisis levels.

According to a joint report from the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen 70% of US grocery shoppers could be buying online within five years.  

Columbia Distributing will purchase General Distributors based in Oregon City. The acquisition will allow Columbia to have a contiguous service area of the Portland Metro Area and from Salem to Hood River.

The third oldest McDonald’s in America will be demolished on Powell Boulevard in Portland in February. Built in 1962, it is the classic double-arches style designed by architect Stanley Meston. (WW)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Despite the blood moon eclipse earlier markets are in the green this morning following a two-day sell-off that shaved a good chunk off some big January gains. The Dow and S&P are still on track for their biggest monthly gains since March 2016, the Nasdaq since October 2015. (CNBC)

With 133 S&P 500 companies having reported, fourth quarter earnings for the S&P 500 are tracking to a 13.2% year-over-year increase. A solid 80% and 82% of S&P 500 companies have exceeded earnings and revenue targets, respectively. This week 118 S&P 500 companies will report. (LPL)

The Federal Reserve makes its interest rate decision and policy statement this morning after a two-day meeting. It is  Janet Yellen's final meeting as Fed chair. (CNBC)

The Eugene Register-Guard newspaper has agreed to sell  to GateHouse Media. The Register-Guard has been owned and operated by the Baker family since 1927. GateHouse Media publishes 630 community publications in 38 states. The deal will close on March 1st. The Register-Guard has 240 employees with a daily print circulation of about 37,500. (OBM)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note surged to 2.716% this morning to its highest since April 2014. (CNBC)

The Commerce Department says orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 2.9% in December. Orders for durable goods, which are meant to last at least three years, have risen in four the last five months.

The first release of fourth quarter GDP showed an increase of 2.6%. An inventory drag, possibly hurricane related pulled the number lower. Trade was also a drag-import growth strongly outpaced export growth and widened the trade deficit. (LPL)

The inflation component of the GDP report showed a pickup in inflation. Core personal consumption expenditures excluding food and energy, rose 1.9%. (LPL)

Intel says its shareholders can expect a $1.3 billion windfall in 2018 from the Trump tax bill. Half that will be given to shareholders through a 10% increase in the company's dividend.

K-cup maker Keurig Green Mountain will buy soda maker Dr. Pepper Snapple. (AP)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The S&P 500 finished at its thirteenth new high so far this month yesterday. This is already the most new highs ever during the month of January (the previous record was 11 in 1964) and it is the first month since February 1998 to see 13 new highs. The most ever new highs for any month was June 1955 at 16. (LPL)

The Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes fell 9.3% in December. New home sales increased 8.3% in 2017. In December, there were 295,000 new homes on the market, an increase of 3.9% and the highest level since April 2009. At December's sales pace it would take 5.7 months to clear the supply of houses on the market.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.6% in December to 107.  This points to a continuation of strong economic growth in the first half of 2018. The passing of the tax plan is likely to provide even more tailwind to the current expansion. The gains were widespread, with most of the strength concentrated in new orders in manufacturing, consumers’ outlook on the economy, improving stock markets and financial conditions.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The S&P 500 is up 6.0% YTD in January. Since 1950, when markets are up greater than 5% or more the full year finished in the green 12 out of 12 times with an average gain of 24.8%. The final 11 months closed higher 11 out of 12 times with only 1987 lower. (LPL)

Disney will pay over 125,000 employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,000 because of the passage of a tax bill. The company will also make a $50 million investment into a new employee education program. (CNBC)

Toys R Us will close 180 US stores, about one-fifth of its U.S. stores. Closures will begin in early February. The company is trying to emerge from bankruptcy. (CNBC)

The National Association of Realtors said existing U.S. home sales fell 3.6% in December. Existing home sales, which account for about 90% of all U.S. home sales, rose 1.1% on a year-on-year basis in 2017, the highest level since 2006. The number of previously owned homes on the market dumped 11.4% to its lowest level since January 1999. Housing inventory was down 10.3% from a year ago. It has declined for 31 straight months on a year-on-year basis. The median house price increased 5.8% in 2017, rising for the sixth straight year.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



According to a Bank of America survey stocks mutual funds and ETFs brought in $58 billion in new money last week. U.S. funds showed the strongest money gains with $6.4 billion for the week, while Japan attracted $3.6 billion, emerging markets saw $3.5 billion and Europe pulled in $2.2 billion. (LPL)

The latest Investors Intelligence poll of professional newsletter editors saw bulls outnumber bears by 66.7% to 12.7%. That is the biggest spread since April 1986. (LPL)

Budweiser used to be Americas top-selling beer, but seceded that position to Bud Light in 2004 and moved behind Coors Light to third in 2011. Now Miller Lite has kicked Bud to number 4. Corona is in fifth place, with Michelob Ultra and Modelo in sixth and seventh place. Overall, beer sales were down slightly in the United States last year. (CNN)

Bacardi is buying Patrón Spirits, who makes the world's top-selling premium tequila — in a deal valued at $5.1 billion. Bacardi is the largest privately held spirits company, with more than 200 brands including Bacardi rum, Grey Goose vodka, Dewars blended Scotch whiskey and Bombay Sapphire gin (USA Today).

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are coming off record closes on Friday. The major averages have posted weekly gains for each of the past three weeks. But markets are under pressure as the government shutdown enters its third day.  (CNBC)

Electro Scientific Industries, Oregon's oldest tech company, says sales in the latest quarter were between $106 million and $111 million. That's a more than 200% increase from a year earlier. The stock is up 319% in the past year. (OregonLive)

The University of Michigan says U.S. consumer sentiment fell in the January to 94.4.  Seventy-percent of consumers said the impact from the new tax reform law would be positive.

The U.S. could be the world's leading energy producer according to the International Energy Agency. Growth should see the U.S. hit historic highs above 10 million barrels a day (in production) during the course of 2018.

Amazon Go an automated grocery store, will launch today. The store is billed as a game changer for grocery and retail with "no lines, no checkouts, no registers." (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



This weeks gains pushed the Nasdaq over its inflation-adjusted March 2000 highs for the first time in 17 years. Meanwhile, the Dow completed another 1000-point advance in a record nine trading days--the previous record was 23 trading days from 24,000-25,000. (LPL)

Of the 36 S&P 500 companies that have reported results through January 17, 78% have reported earnings above estimates, while even more impressively, 81% have surpassed revenue targets (Thomson Reuters data).

China's economy, the world’s second largest, grew 6.9% in 2017. (AP)

The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to 220,000 last week, the lowest level since February 1973. It marked the 150th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000, the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio on this great station, when we will take you through a wealth building boot camp.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



This could potentially upset the apple cart. Concerns over a potential government shutdown have some investors on edge. By midnight Friday, Congress must pass a spending bill, in order to prevent a government shutdown.

Department of Energy reported U.S. oil production climbed to a 43-year high of 9.566 million barrels per day this last week. On a monthly basis it is the highest production since May 1972.

The Federal Reserve said U.S. industrial production increased 0.9% in December. For 2017, industrial output rose 1.8%, the first and largest increase since 2014. Capacity utilization increased to 77.9% from 77.2% in November.

The National Association of Home Builders Builder sentiment fell to 72 just off the 18-year high of December. The index stood at 67 in January of 2017.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says total mortgage applications for the week rose 4.1% it is up 5.6% from a year ago. Applications to refinance rose 4% for the week. Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 3% for the week and are 7% higher than one year ago. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate is 4.33%.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The National Retail Federation says “retail sales during November and December increased 5.5% percent, to about $692 billion. That represents the largest increase in holiday sales since the recession of 2008.

Stock funds pulled in $24.4 billion last week. It was the sixth-biggest equity inflow total ever and the most in at least six months. (CNBC)

President Donald Trumps tax overhaul will save Oregon taxpayers nearly $1.5 billion a year, according to Legislative Revenue Office.

According to Americans for Tax Reform, “at least 2 million US workers had received bonuses, pay raises or other new benefits from more than 130 companies as a result of the tax cuts.”

Walmart announced it would add its “Scan & Go,” technology to 100 more stores, bringing the total up to 150. The technology allows customers to download an app and scan and bag items, with a smartphone, allowing customers to pay on their mobile and walk out without interacting with a cashier. Kroger, owners of Food 4 Less and Fred Myer’s, recently announced a similar technology.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Earnings season is off and running. About 5% of the S&P 500's market cap reports this week. The focus for investors will be on company guidance on the impact of the new tax law. We look for upside in S&P 500 earnings for the quarter in the 14-16% range, while revenue growth may top 7%. The strong growth is expected to be driven mostly by a strong rebound in energy sector profits, as well as potential double-digit gains for the technology and financial sectors. (LPL)

The Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index, excluding the volatile food and energy, rose 0.3% in December.  Core CPI increased 1.8% in 2017. Rents increased 0.4%, the cost of medical care increased 0.3%, prescription medication surged 1% and hospital and doctor visits increased 0.3%.  

The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales increased 0.4% in December. Retail sales in 2017 rose 5.4%, compared to 3.2% in 2016. Sales at electronics and appliance stores fell 0.2%, clothing store sales declined 0.3%, online retailers soared 1.2% and restaurants and bars rose 0.7%.

Wal-Mart is cutting 1,000 jobs mostly at its corporate headquarters, according to The Wall Street Journal.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Earnings growth is poised for double-digit increases in 2018, in both the U.S. as well as developed international and emerging markets. The credit for the increase in the U.S. is not surprisingly given to the new tax law. The U.S. earnings season begins today with reports from several big banks. Consensus is calling for a 12% year-over-year increase in S&P 500 earnings in the fourth quarter of 2017. (LPL)

The Labor Department said U.S. producer prices fell 0.1% December. That was the first drop since August 2016. In 2017 the PPI rose 2.6%.  Last month, the price of services fell 0.2%, wholesale food prices fell 0.7%, and energy prices were unchanged.

J.P. Morgan Chase reported Q4 earnings of $1.76 a share topping Wall Street’s expectations. Revenue was $25.45 billion. The company returned $6.7 billion in capital to shareholders during the fourth-quarter with $4.7 billion in net stock buybacks. The company’s stock is up 29% in the last 12 months. (Reuters)

Wells Fargo reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.16 a share, or $6.2 billion, on revenue of $22.05 billion. The profit represents a 17 percent increase from the same period in 2016. (Reuters)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The Labor Department said U.S. import prices edged up 0.1% in December, their smallest increase in five months.
In 2017 import prices increased 3.0% after advancing 1.9% percent in 2016. That was the biggest calendar year increase since 2011.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says total application volume rose 8.3% last week. Refinance applications were up 11% from the previous week. Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 5% for the week but are 1% lower than one year ago. Rates were higher at the start of 2017 than they are now. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.23%.

China may reduce or halt U.S. Treasury purchases. After building up its stake in U.S. Treasuries during 2017, China's central bank is rumored to be mulling over the idea of reducing or even halting purchases of U.S. government debt. The news helped push the yield on the benchmark 10-year note past 2.55% for the first time since March of 2017. (LPL)

Coca-Cola is releasing four new flavors of Diet Coke aimed at millennials -- Diet Coke Ginger Lime, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange and Diet Coke Twisted Mango. (Washington Post)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



The NFIB reports that its latest Small Business Optimism index remained in the stratosphere for all of 2017, making last year an all-time record setter. NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said, “2017 was the most remarkable year in the 45-year history of the NFIB Optimism Index. ... With a massive tax cut this year, accompanied by significant regulatory relief, we expect very strong growth, millions more jobs, and higher pay for Americans.” December’s Optimism Index was “slightly lower than the near-record November report” at 104.9.

Columbia Sportswear will provide uniforms for ski teams from the U.S., Canada, Belarus, Ukraine, Brazil and Kazakhstan at the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea next month. (PBJ)

Visa is increasing its contribution to its 401(k)-match program to up to 5% of employee salary, due to the recent passage of a new GOP-backed tax code.  Visa contributes $2 for every $1 an employee contributes to the retirement savings of its U.S.-based employees. (FOX Business)

President Trump will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland later this month. Davos is seen as the ultimate meeting concerning globalization (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The S&P 500 closed higher for the fifth straight day to kick off 2018, with all five days also making new highs. This is the longest win streak to start a new year since six in a row in 2010, while it is closing in on the all-time record of new highs to start a year of six in 1964. Not to be outdone, the S&P 500 is up 2.6% after five days, the best start to a year since 2003. When the first five days of the year are up more than 2%, since 1950, the entire year has been higher 15 out of 15 times with an average return of 18.6%. (LPL)

The return of volatility? I noted many times how historically non-volatile 2017 was for stocks. From the S&P 500 not experiencing a single 3% pullback from peak to trough, to only having eight 1% daily changes all year. The first week of 2018 the S&P 500 gained 2.6%, which would have been the single largest weekly gain of 2017. Additionally, it snapped a 55-consecutive week streak without a 2% gain or loss. That was the longest such streak without a 2% change since the mid-1990s, and mid-1960s before that. Could this be the first clue that volatility is coming back in 2018? (LPL)

Kohl's same-store sales climbed nearly 7% for the 2017 holiday season when compared with a year ago. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The Dow closed above the 25,000 level for the first time in history last week. It took only 23 trading days to go from 24,000 to 25,000--the fasted 1,000 point move ever. Of course, as you go higher the percentage needed to reach the next milestone is smaller, but this is still an impressive feat. (LPL)

Let’s drill into Fridays big jobs report. The retail sector posted job losses of roughly 20,000 in December. The downward trend in retail jobs is believed to be a result of an ongoing shift to e-commerce sales. Retail posted a net job loss in 2017 of 70,000. The construction industry posted a monthly gain of 30,000 jobs. Much of those increases came from specialty trade contractors, which added roughly 24,000 jobs. Manufacturing added 25,000 jobs during the month and 196,000 jobs last year. Wage growth at 0.3% month over month and 2.5% year over year. (CNBC)

Helen of Troy Ltd., makers of the brands Bedhead, Vicks, Brut, Dr. Scholl’s and Bend based Hydroflask, reported a quarterly loss of $30.4 million, after reporting a profit last year.  That is a loss of $1.12 per share. The company posted sales of $453 million.  Helen of Troy stock price has declined 0.5% in the first week of 2018 and has decreased slightly in the last 12 months. (AP)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The Department of Labor says the economy added 148,000 jobs in December. The private sector added 146,000 and the government added 2,000 jobs.  The unemployment rate is 4.1%.

The S&P 500 closed at another new all-time high yesterday, making it three days in a row of new highs to start the year. The last time that happened was in 1964. The first three days this year gained 0.5%, or more which is how 2017 started as well. The best win streak to start a year ever is seven days in a row in 1976 and 1987. (LPL)

The global economy continues to surge. US ISM manufacturing rose in December, making the 2017 average of 57.6 the best in 13 years. In China, the December Services PMI rose to its highest level since August 2014. European data showed better than expected data as well, as the Eurozone December PMI came in at its best level since 2011. (LPL)

The Challenger report says U.S. employers plan to cut 32,423 jobs in December, bringing the year's total to a low not seen since 1990. Cuts in 2017 totaled 418,770, 20% below 2016. Last month saw 7.4% fewer job-cut announcements than November, and 3.6% fewer than in December 2016.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index climbed to 59.7 in December. That marks the 103rd consecutive month of growth for the manufacturing sector.

The Commerce Department said U.S. construction spending increased by 0.8% in November, to an all-time high of $1.257 trillion.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says applications to refinance fell 7% but were up 1.8% for 2017. Mortgage applications to purchase a home, increased 1% for the week and was 3% higher in 2017. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.25% to end 2017.  

J.C. Penney says same-store sales climbed more than 3% during the holiday shopping season.

Oil prices hit new highs yesterday as West Texas crude closed yesterday up $1.26, or 2.1%, at $61.63, marking its best closing price since December 2014. International benchmark Brent crude closed up $1.27, or 1.9% at $67.84, also a closing high going back to December 2014. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Now that  the first trading day of the new year is in the books, what does the first day really matter? Of course one day doesn’t make a full year, but it is quite interesting how much the first day of a new year can signal things to come. Over the past 20 years, the S&P 500 Index has been up 10 times and down 10 times; when the first day is green the full-year return has been up +14.2% on average, while a lower first day has resulted in the full-year return being in the red. (LPL)

Yesterday stocks were up about 0.80% making it a record-breaking start to the year. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both closed at record highs. The Nasdaq closed above 7000 for the first time ever. (CNBC)

Year-end holiday retail sales rose 4.9% compared to last year, according to the Mastercard SpendingPulse report.  In addition, year-end bargain hunters were expected to spend another $69 billion last week.  

Argentina's peso fell 15% in 2017 and was down 34% in 2015 and 18% in 2016. Inflation rose 21% in 2017. (CNN)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Could this be the death rattles? According to The Wall Street Journal Sears has not run a paid national television commercial since late November. That compares to $8.4 million it spent a year earlier for the Sears brand and $6.5 million for Kmart.

Nordstrom stock was upgraded to "neutral" from "underweight" at JPMorgan Chase.  It says Nordstrom's had a strong finish to 2017 and the best holiday season in three years.

Today marked the first time since January 2014 that both West Texas crude and Brent Oil opened the year above $60 a barrel. The price of oil collapsed from almost $120 a barrel in June 2014 due to weak demand, a strong dollar and booming U.S. shale production. (CNBC)

The Nasdaq was up nearly 30% in 2017 and has posted 14 months of essentially uninterrupted gains. But there's one more record to add to the books: the technology-heavy index posted its sixth straight positive year, its longest annual string of gains since its six-year streak ended in 1980. (CNBC)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Investors are reflecting back on the big market events of 2017. The Highlights: Brexit negotiations, the future of U.S. trade, the unraveling of Dodd-Frank, the tax overhaul, U.S. economic growth finally above 3%, persistently higher stock index records, crypto-currency mania, media company M&A, OPEC output cuts, the Paris accord pullout, GE's restructuring, Korean Peninsula tensions, the EU's war on tax avoidance and new Fed leadership. Traders will also remember the bruising year for the dollar and the go-slow approach toward monetary-stimulus withdrawal in major economies.

It's still the most valuable U.S. startup, but Mitsuyushi Son's SoftBank has succeeded in its bid to buy a large stake in UBER at a steep discount, the WSJ reports. Investors and employees of the ride-hailing service tendered shares equal to about 18% of the company in an offer that values Uber at $48B - a roughly 30% discount to its most recent valuation of about $68B. (WSJ)

U.S. oil prices have reached their highest since mid-2015 due to an unexpected fall in American output and commercial inventories. Crude futures are currently edging higher to just over $60 a barrel. Since the start of the year, WTI has climbed around 12%, although the price rise from mid-2017 is much stronger, at nearly 50%.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.
 



During the last few days of 2016, the talk on Wall Street centered upon when the Dow Jones Industrial Average would top 20,000. A year on, the discussion has shifted to when the blue-chip index will hit 25,000, with only two more days in 2017 to claim the milestone. Dow futures are currently up 34 points in premarket trade, making the goal a real possibility. At that level, the DJIA's gain would total about 25% YTD. (SA)

Worldwide mergers and acquisitions activity has exceeded $3tn for the fourth consecutive year, extending a multi-year wave of deal-making that bankers say is set to accelerate in 2018.  The total volume of dealmaking hit $3.5tn this year, a 1 per cent drop from a year ago and the lowest figure since 2014, but it also marked the fourth straight year that deal levels surpassed $3tn, a record streak. (FT)

Copper prices continued their march higher this morning, rallying to their highest level in almost four years and putting the metal on track for its best year since 2010.  The red metal (aka Doctor Copper) is looked to as a powerful macroeconomic indicator, with price swings seen as leading indicators of economic shifts because of its widespread application in most sectors of the economy.  (FT)

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.
 



U.S. stocks traded lower yesterday, as investors returned from the long holiday break, with technology stocks coming under pressure as shares of Apple declined.

Shares of retailers were broadly higher yesterday, with a key sector tracker surging toward a one-year high, after a report that holiday spending rose more than expected to record levels.  A SpendingPulse report on national retail sales, across all payment types, said retail sales during the holiday season increased 4.9% from a year ago, the fastest pace of growth since 2011. Dollars spent this season set a record, helped by an 18.1% jump in online shopping and heavy early-season promotions.

The S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in the three-month period ending in October. It was up 6.2% compared to the same period a year ago. The 20-city index also rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% for the month and it’s up 6.4% for the year.  The cities with the largest home price appreciation over the last year were Seattle up 12.7% and Las Vegas up 10.2%.

The e-commerce giant Amazon said yesterday morning that customers were shopping on its website at "record levels" throughout November and December, and over the course of one week, more than 4 million people became Prime members or started a free trial, sending Amazon's membership count to new highs.

And Oil prices touched two-and-a-half year highs in light volume, boosted by an explosion on a crude pipeline in Libya and voluntary OPEC-led supply cuts.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones


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