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Horizon Air pilots approved an amended contract that raises the carrier's pay scale. Seventy-nine percent of voting Horizon pilots approved ratification with an 88% participating. (OregonLive)

Sears reported a first-quarter loss and same-store sales continued to decline at a double-digit pace. The company sold its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker in March for $525 million. Sears ended the first quarter with $264 million in cash. Sears stock has fallen more than 19% year-to-date and is down about 40% over the past 12 months. (Reuters)

Best Buy had strong sales of mobile devices and gaming products during the first quarter. Best Buy sales climbed to $8.53 billion. Online sales jumped 22.5% domestically. The company had profits of $188 million, or 60 cents per share. (AP)

Costco shares are on fire posting a quarterly profit of $700 million, or $1.59 per share. Total sales rose 7.8% to $28.86 billion. Sales and how much members pay in annual fees both rose. Total same store sales rose 5%. U.S. same stores sales rose 6%. Of Costco's 732 stores, 510 are in the U.S. Costco shares are up 9% since the beginning of the year. (AP)

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



The Port of Portland has selected Curtis Robinhold as the Port's new executive director. Robinhold, is currently deputy to current executive director Bill Wyatt and is his hand-picked successor. He has been the Port's deputy director since 2013. (PBJ)

Corona beer maker Constellation Brands is looking to buy Jack Daniels producer Brown-Forman. Brown-Forman has indicated it's not interested in selling. (CNBC)

Total mortgage application volume increased 4.4% last week. Refinance volume was higher by 11% for the week, but remains 30% below the same week one year ago. Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.17%.  (Mortgage Bankers Association)

Home resales fell 2.3% in April more than expected.  Mostly due to a shortage of houses on the market that is keeping prices elevated and sidelining prospective buyers. (National Association of Realtors)

Moody's downgraded Chinese sovereign debt citing concerns about excessive leverage. The downgrade isn't really "news," it's more a confirmation of what we already know.  (LPL Research)

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



Advanced Manufacturing reports that “manufacturing economic growth should continue through the rest of 2017.” The semi-annual forecast predicted “an average revenue increase for the year of 4.4%, compared with 2016.” “The survey showed manufacturers this year expect a 5.2% increase in capital expenditures, a 1.3% rise in employment and a 4.4% rise in revenues.”

New single-family home sales tumbled 11.4% in April from a 9-1/2-year high in March. However new home sales increased 0.5% on a year-on-year basis. April's sales drop came after three straight months of increases. (Commerce Department)

Flir Systems the Wilsonville thermal imaging company has a new CEO.  He is Jim Cannon, an Army veteran who has been at toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker for the past 16 years. Flir is one of Oregon's largest companies, reporting sales of $1.7 billion last year and profits of $167 million. It employs nearly 3,500 worldwide. (Oregon Live)

Home improvement supplier Lowe's profit fell 32% to $602 million, or 70 cents per share last quarter. Sales rose 10.7% to $16.86 billion. Same-store sales rose only 2%. (AP)  

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



It is the unofficial last week of an excellent earnings season. With just 28 S&P 500 companies left to report results, S&P 500 earnings growth for the first quarter is tracking to a very strong +15.2% year-over-year increase, +11.1% excluding energy. Technology jumped ahead of financials and materials last week into second place in the earnings growth rankings (energy is first). (LPL Research)

Amazon is offering live television channels on its platform in Europe as it steps up its push into broadcasting and challenges traditional networks. Today, Amazon holds its annual shareholder meeting in Seattle. (Financial Times)

SolarWorld Americas has filed a layoff notice for its Hillsboro solar panel factory. The German parent company is now insolvent. All the current 800 workers could lose their jobs. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires companies with 100 or more employees to notify affected workers 60 days prior to closures and layoffs. (PBJ)

AutoZone reported quarterly profits rose to $331.7 million, or $11.44 a share from a year ago. Domestic same-store sales declined 0.8%. The stock has tumbled 16.5% year to date. (AP)

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



This week’s economic calendar includes data on purchasing manager surveys, housing, trade, durable goods, and revised first quarter gross domestic product.  The Fed will remain in focus with minutes from the May 3rd meeting due out Wednesday. We believe the market is correctly pricing in a June 14 rate hike. Overseas include first quarter German and U.K. GDP, German business confidence, and Eurozone purchasing manager surveys. (LPL Research)

Ford will replace CEO Mark Fields. The automaker's new CEO will be Jim Hackett, former CEO of Steelcase and currently chairman of the autonomous vehicles unit at Ford. This comes as profits margins at Ford trail those of other car makers and as the stock price has fallen almost 40% since Field took over three years ago. (CNBC)

U.S.-based chemical company Huntsman and Switzerland's Clariant are combining in a more than $14 billion merger of specialty chemical companies. The all-stock transaction will create a company that will be 52% owned by Clariant shareholders. (CNBC)

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



Finally, some volatility. After 15 consecutive days without a S&P 500 closing up or down 0.5% (the longest streak since 1969), volatility came back in a big way with an 1.8% drop on Wednesday. This was only the second 1% drop this year and it was the worst one-day drop since September. (LPL Research)
In the radio world - Pandora is in active talks with SiriusXM about being bought by the satellite radio company. (New York Post)

About-face! IBM a pioneer of remote work, is giving thousands of its work-from-home employees in the U.S. a choice this week: Abandon your off-site workspaces and relocate to a regional office, or leave the company. (WSJ)

Big green, big boy toy maker, Deere saw earnings per share to rise 7.7% to $1.68, with revenue growing 3% to $7.32 billion. Agriculture and turf sales grew 1%, construction and forestry sales climbed 7%. Deere profits and revenues have been in a slump since 2014, which the company has attributed to a weak global agricultural economy. Deere says it is starting to see signs of a rebound in some markets hard hit by low crop prices. (Reuters)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will talk about –“Has the Trump rally ended?”

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



Oh how the world is changing. McDonald's is expanding delivery via UberEats to about 1000 restaurants nationwide, a move aimed at winning back younger consumers willing to pay more for food brought to their doors. McDelivery, is now available at about 300 restaurants in Los Angeles, 144 in Phoenix and 59 in Columbus, Ohio and 300 in Chicago. Nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population lives within three 3 miles of a McDonald's.  (Chicago Tribune)

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and sales. Red Robin had a profit of $11.6 million, or 89 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $14.2 million, or $1.03 a share, a year ago. Sales were $418.6 million, up 4% from $402.1 million a year ago. Same store sales fell 1.2%. (Market Watch)

Jack In The Box reported quarterly profits of $33.1 million or $1.06 per share. The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The burger chain had sales of $369.4 million.  Jack In The Box shares have dropped nearly 9% since the beginning of the year.

Wal-Mart grew its e-commerce sales a whopping 63% last quarter. The majority of these sales were organic through Walmart.com. (CNBC)

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



Want a simple example of what we mean by the current lack of market volatility?  Last year at this point the S&P 500 index had closed down 1% or more 17 times.  Only once so far, this year. (S&P)

Construction of new homes fell by 2.6% in April to an annual rate of 1.17 million units.  That is a second straight month of declines and pushes activity to the lowest level in five months. The weakness was led by a big drop in construction of apartments. (Commerce Department)

Home Depot reported earnings per share of $1.67 on revenue of $23.89 billion. Same-store sales grew by 5.5%.  Home Depot stock has climbed more than 18% over the past 12 months. (CNBC)

Industrial production in April grew 1%, the fastest pace in more than three years as manufacturers and mines/oil recovered from a March downturn. Factory production rose 1%. Mine/oil production increased 1.2%. Utility output rose 0.7%. Factory production has risen three of four months this year. Manufacturing has recovered from a rough patch in late 2015 and early 2016 caused by cutbacks in the energy industry and a strong dollar, which makes U.S. goods costlier in foreign markets. (Federal Reserve)

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



Oregon’s largest employer, Intel, has named Gregory Bryant to lead its PC division. He currently leads the company's connected home and commercial business. (PBJ)

Chinese industrial production growth came in at 6.5% weaker than expected.  On an absolute basis, the economy is still on track to meet its growth goals, though it looks like growth may have peaked for the year. The government continues to crack down on excess leverage in the financial system; these numbers are unlikely to move them off that path. (LPL Research)

The S&P 500 snapped its 3-week win streak last week, with a modest 0.3% drop. Continuing was the incredibly small daily ranges and lack of overall volatility. On the week, the S&P 500 traded in less than a one-percent range (from high to low) for the second consecutive week (only the third time since 1995). Additionally, the intraday range on Friday was 0.22% - the smallest daily range on a full day of trading in nearly three years. (LPL Research)

Ford, the only domestic automaker not too be bailed out with your tax dollars, is cutting 10% of its global workforce or 20,000 jobs. Most of the jobs will be salaried workers who do not have union protection. (CNN)

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

 



Through Friday we have seen the following move in world stock markets for 2017 (NASDAQ).

Mexico - +19%
Emerging Markets - +18%
France - +17%
Europe - +10%
Nasdaq 100 - +17%
S&P 500 - +7%
Russell 2000 - +2%

Consumer prices rose 0.2% in April after dropping in March. Energy prices rose 1.1%. Over the past 12 months, inflation is up 2.2%. (Labor Department)

The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index finished April with a reading of 97, up from 89 for the same month a year ago. (CNBC)

Retail sales rose 0.4% in April, missing consensus expectations of 0.6% growth. The pattern appears to be increasing spending on experiences, such as dining and entertainment, rather than goods. More spending is moving to online. (LPL Research)

Apple has issued $7 billion in corporate bonds, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apple has been using debt to pay shareholders while holding most of its $256 billion in cash overseas to avoid repatriation taxes. Since Apple launched its shareholder-return program in 2012, its long-term debt has risen from zero to nearly $85 billion.

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



Inflation at the wholesale level jumped in April by 0.5% the largest increase in three months, fueled by rising food and energy prices. Energy prices rose 0.8% in April, while food costs were up 0.9%. Wholesale inflation is up 2.5% over the past 12 months, the largest 12-month gain in five years. (Labor Department)

Nordstrom saw profits jump 37% to $63 million, or 37 cents per share at its department stores in the first quarter. But same store sales declined 0.8% in the quarter. Sales results at Nordstrom Rack were up 2.3%.  Nordstrom total revenue grew 3% to $3.35 billion. (AP)

It has not been pretty to watch, the slow death of a once great icon. J.C. Penney's net loss widened to $180 million, or 58 cents per share, in the first quarter, from $68 million, or 22 cents per share a year ago. This was due to weaker sales at brick-and-mortar locations.  Earlier this year Penney's announced it would close 138 stores representing 13% of all their stores but generated less than 5% of annual sales. Shares of Penney's have fallen over 33% over the past year. (AP)

Join us this weekend for the Financial Focus Radio Show when we will talk about the dangers in the stock and bond markets.

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





 



Import prices increased in April by 0.5%.  Over the last 12 months import prices rose 4.1%. Prices for imported petroleum climbed 1.6%.  Export prices increased 0.2% in April. Export prices rose 3.0% year-on-year. Prices for agricultural exports advanced 0.3% as a 37.9% jump in vegetable prices offset falling prices for soybeans, corn and wheat. (Labor Department)

Chinese producer prices rose 6.4% year over year.  Consumer prices remained contained, rising 1.2% year over year. Inflation in China is moderating as less producer inflation is translating into consumer price increases. (LPL Research)

Kohl’s had a first quarter profit of 39 cents per share beating expectations. This came on sales of $3.84 billion.
Kohl's shares have declined 18% since the beginning of the year. (AP)

Whole Foods reported quarterly earnings of $99 million. That produced a profit of 31 cents per share. The results met Wall Street expectations. The grocer had sales of $3.74 billion in the period. Whole Foods shares are up 18% in 2017. (AP)

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



An Oregon business legend has passed. Benjamin Whiteley was 87. He died on May 4th.  He was the former CEO of The Standard insurance company and chairman of Greenbrier Companies.  He also served on the boards of Northwest Natural Gas and Willamette Industries. (PBJ)

The Volatility Index, also known as the VIX (VIX) closed at 9.77 Monday for the lowest close on the "fear gauge" since December 1993. Going back to 1990, this is only the 10th close beneath 10 and the first since January 2007. (LPL Research)

Total mortgage application volume increased 2.4% last week. Volume is still nearly 14% below a year-ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home gained 2% for the week and are 6% higher than a year ago. Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan rose 3% for the week but are 32% below last year. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgage remained unchanged at 4.23%. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

Proctor & Gamble's Gillette revamped its subscription-based shaving razor service to include a text-to-order feature, the latest move in its battle with Unilever's Dollar Shave Club. (CNBC)

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



The NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism posted another historically high reading in April, but expectations for future business conditions plunged by eight points, a sign that business owners were shaken by Congress’ failure at the end of March to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Index dipped 0.2 points April, settling at 104.5. April was the sixth straight month for historically high optimism, a hot streak not seen since 1983.

Strong earnings season got even better last week. S&P 500 earnings for the first quarter rose more than 1% over the past week and are now tracking to a 14.7% year-over-year increase, compared with the 10.2% increase in estimates. Both the earnings growth and beat rates (75%) are the best in more than five years. Excluding the rebounding energy sector, earnings are still on pace to grow a solid 10.5% year over year. About 40 S&P 500 companies will report results this week as earnings season winds down. (LPL Research)

Up three weeks in a row. On Friday, the S&P 500 closed at its first all-time high since March 1 and in the process rose for the third consecutive week. It was also the first green Friday for the S&P 500 in nearly two months. This was the second three-week win streak of the year, with the earlier streak making it all the way to six weeks in a row. There hasn't been a year with two separate six-week win streaks since 2013. (LPL Research)

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



We have had a little time to dig into Fridays big jobs report where the U.S. economy created 211,000 jobs in April, rebounding sharply from a downwardly revised 79,000 in March. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.4% versus expectations of an increase to 4.6%, helped by a decline in the participation rate. Wage growth climbed 0.3%, in line with expectations, and stands at 2.5% year over year, signaling that wage pressures remain contained despite an improving labor market. The overall jobs picture likely keeps the Fed on track for two more rate hikes in 2017. (LPL Research)

 

The past eight days are about as slow as it gets. The S&P 500 has incredibly closed up or down less than 20 basis points seven of the past eight days, tying the all-time record from 1972. Additionally, it has closed less than 0.5% away from new all-time highs each of those days, but hasn't been able to make new highs. In fact, the S&P 500 hasn't made a new high since March 1st. (LPL Research)

 

Coach is buying the clothing and accessories maker Kate Spade for $18.50 per share or $2.4 billion in cash. Coach said it would save $50 million in operational costs within three years. (CNBC)

 

The S&P 500 is flat and the NASDAQ is up 3.  The MSCI international index is flat.

Oil is down 10 cents at $46.11 a barrel.

Gold is up $6 at $1233 a Troy ounce.



The Labor Department says the US economy added 211,000 new jobs in April. Of those 191,000 were in the private sector and 20,000 in government. The unemployment fell to 4.4%, lowest since May of 2007.

Worker productivity fell 0.6% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of 2016, leading to a jump in labor-related costs. This was the weakest in a year.  Year-over-year productivity increased at a 1.1% rate. Productivity has increased at a meager average annual rate of 0.6% over the last five years, well below its long-term rate of 2.1% from 1947 to 2016. Per unit labor costs increased at a 3.0% rate in the first quarter. (Labor Department)

The US trade balance was near flat at $-43.7 billion in March. Both imports and exports fell, signaling a decline in trade activity. Services trade activity was strong, exhibiting the continued value of good old American know-how as a national resource. (LPL Research)

Fast food purveyor YUM Brands released same-store Q1 sales at their restaurants yesterday according to a news release:
Pizza Hut: down 3%
KFC: up 2%
Taco Bell: up 8%

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will talk about the danger of bonds.

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



The Institute of Supply Management non-manufacturing index posted 57.5 for the month of April, growing for the 88th consecutive month. A reading above 50 on this index indicates expansion in the service sector. The ISM's Prices Index increased 4.1% in April, as prices in the service sector grew for the 13th consecutive month and at a faster rate. (Bloomberg)

First quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the Eurozone grew 0.5% as expected. Europe has struggled to grow its economy over the past few years, but this data, suggests full year growth could top economists’ expectations for 1.7% this year. (LPL Research)

Church & Dwight, makers of  Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and Oxi Clean announced first quarter EPS of $0.51 per share, an 18.6% increase. Sales grew 2.3%. (Business Wire

Companies announced 36,602 layoffs in April, a 15% decrease from March. Aprils job cuts were 43% lower than the 64,141 recorded in April 2016. Employers have announced a total of 162,803 planned job cuts through the first four months of 2017, down 35% from a year ago. Retail had the most job losses in April with 11,669 job cuts. (Challenger, Gray & Christmas)

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

 



Another busy week of earnings on tap. A very strong earnings season continues this week with 127 S&P 500 companies reporting. With about two-thirds of companies having reported, S&P 500 earnings for the first quarter of 2017 are now tracking for a 13.6% year-over-year increase, well above the 10.2% increase expected. The 77% earnings beat rate thus far, should it hold, would be the best since 2010. (LPL Research)

U.S. factory activity slowed in April . The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index of national factory activity dropped to a 54.8 last month, the weakest reading since December. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion.  Manufacturing accounts for about 12% of the U.S. economy. (Reuters)

Mondelez International, the maker of Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolate and Trident gum, reported first-quarter profits of $630 million, or 41 cents per share. The company had sales of $6.41 billion in the period.
Mondelez shares are down more than 1% since the beginning of the year. (AP)

The ADP jobs report says the economy added 177,000 private sector positions in April.

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



The old Wall Street cliché goes "sell in May and go away".  Should you worry? In fact, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq have not fallen in May since 2012. (CNBC)

Consumer spending was unchanged in March showing weak domestic demand in the first quarter. Adjusted for inflation, consumer spending increased 0.3%.  Spending has been constrained by the mild winter, which undercut demand for heating and utilities production. Delays in income tax refunds also weighed on consumer spending. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. (Commerce Department)

Personal income gained 0.2%. Income at the disposal of households after accounting for inflation increased 0.5%, the biggest gain since December 2015. Savings increased to $849 billion from $819 billion in February. (Reuters)

Wages and benefits accelerate. The Labor Department's Employment Cost Index, which includes both wages and benefits, rose 0.8% in the first quarter of 2017, ahead of expectations and the best quarterly rate of growth since before the Great Recession. Stronger wage growth points to a tightening labor market, although spare capacity and a low participation rate will likely keep any possibility for outsized wage acceleration in check. (LPL Research)

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



Portland based Columbia Sportswear posted a record first quarter with sales up 4% over last year. Sales totaled $543.8 million producing a record profit of $36 million. CEO Tim Boyle cited strength in Europe as well as the SOREL brand's spring launch for Columbia's solid start to the year. (PBJ)

Oregon’s largest employer, Intel, had first quarter revenue of $14.8 billion. Profits for the first quarter were up 45% over last year, to $3 billion, or 61 cents per share. The Data Center Group, the focus for the company’s future growth, had revenue of $4.2 billion, up 6% year-over-year. The company approved another $10 billion for the share buyback program that now totals $15 billion. In the first quarter, the company repurchased $1.2 billion, or 35 million shares, of its stock. Here in Oregon, the company employs 19,300 people. (PBJ)

Consumer sentiment continued higher in April according to the University of Michigan. The Consumer Sentiment Index hit 97. "Although the partisan divide has slightly narrowed in recent months, it still reflects a very pessimistic economic outlook among Democrats and a very optimistic outlook among Republicans," the report commented.

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



Signed contracts to buy existing homes slipped 0.8% in March according to the National Association of Realtors, but is 0.8% higher compared to March of 2016. Home prices are up nearly 7% compared to a year ago with 42% of homes sold at or above list price in March.

New orders for U.S. capital goods rose 0.2% last month according to the Commerce Department.  Last month, orders for machinery slipped 0.2%, but shipments increased 0.7%.

Initial jobless claims for the week rose 14,000 to 257,000. The four-week moving average of claims fell 500 to 242,250 pointing toward a gradual tightening in the labor market. Overall, the data is still consistent with a healthy labor market and continued economic growth. (LPL Research)

Industrials have produced the biggest upside surprise of all 11 S&P sectors this earnings season. Overall, a solid 77% of S&P 500 have beaten on the bottom line, and 63% on revenue.  First quarter earnings are tracking to a 11.8% year-over-year increase. About 320 S&P 500 companies are still left to report first quarter results. (LPL Research)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus radio when we will talk with a professional fiduciary.

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



Two trading days left in April, and the S&P 500 is on track for its fifth positive month out of the past six, and the Nasdaq is on track for its sixth consecutive monthly gain. (CNBC)

We hear a lot about the tightening labor market and pressure on wages. One company, Tyson Foods is considering raising wages for its poultry plant workers, on top of a 3% to 3.5% wage hike that it gave workers in November. (CNBC)

Trump's tax plan is just the start of negotiations. The Trump tax plan includes a 15% corporate tax rate, a 10% rate on repatriated profits, and a 15% maximum rate for pass-through businesses. Tax reform could boost S&P 500 corporate profits meaningfully, potentially by 5% or more beginning in 2018. (LPL Research)

The farm and ranch oriented Tractor Supply posted a first-quarter profit of $60.3 million or 46 cents per share. The company had revenue of $1.56 billion in the period. Tractor Supply shares are down 14% in 2017. (AP)

Under Armour posted its first-ever loss of $2.3 million or 1 cent per share. Revenue was $1.12 billion up 7% from last year. (CNBC)

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



With 95 S&P 500 companies having reported, S&P 500 earnings for first quarter 2017 point to an 11.2% year-over-year increase. The early upside has been driven largely by financials, which are tracking to a 19.0% year-over-year increase. Industrials have also surprised to the upside thus far. Conversely, since earnings season began, first quarter earnings estimates have been cut for the consumer discretionary, energy, and telecom sectors. (LPL Research)

Leading indicators rise for seventh consecutive month. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI) pushed 0.4% higher in March. Eight of 10 indicators increased in March, led by contributions from strong new manufacturing orders. The LEI has climbed 3.5% year over year, a rate that has historically been associated with low odds of a recession occurring within the next year. (LPL Research)

The toymaker Mattel has a huge problem. Fewer kids want to play with the company's Barbie and American Girl dolls, and Fisher-Price toys. Their stock is down to its lowest level since October 2015. Sales were down 15% last quarter.  Barbie sales plunged 13%, American Girl sales were down 12%, and the company's Mega Bloks, sales plummeted 38%. (CNNMoney)

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



Stocks are sharply higher after centrist French presidential candidate Macron won a plurality in in Sunday's election. Anti-EU candidate Le Pen came in second. The final election is set for May 7th. The French stock market is up about 5%, the euro is at a five-month high, gold and bond prices are lower. (CNBC)

Eurozone PMIs hit 6-year highs. Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) data in the Eurozone came in a 56.7 for March (a headline number above 50.0 indicates expansion), besting analysts' expectations and reaching levels not seen since 2011. Both manufacturing and services saw improvements, with France and Germany, the group's two largest components, driving the increases. Employment growth rates also hit levels not seen in almost a decade; a particularly important sign for the European Central Bank (ECB), which referenced job creation as a key measure of the success of its stimulus policies. (LPL Research)

Summit Bank with branches in Eugene and Bend reported a rise in first-quarter profits compared to last year.  They posted a profit of $762,000, up 31% from last year. Non-interest income in the quarter more than doubled in the last 12 months.  The bank reached a record cash and securities portfolio of $49.2 million in the quarter, with capital growing 40% compared to 2016. (Summit Bank PR)

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



The stock market rallied yesterday, with the Nasdaq posting a record finish as investors welcomed a deluge of stronger-than-expected corporate earnings reports and economic data.  Comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that President Donald Trump’s tax reform is not linked to the outcome of the healthcare bill also bolstered sentiment.

Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to a still-low 244,000 in mid-April. Meanwhile, the number of out-of-work people collecting unemployment checks fell to a 17-year low last week, underscoring the strongest U.S. labor market in years.
The US manufacturing index slid in April, but from high levels, suggesting slower growth in the factory sector after a postelection surge.  The index fell to 22.0 from 32.8. It had hit a 33-year high of 43.3 in February and has receded every month since then.

The gap between an index of leading economic indicators and one of current economic indicators is at its highest since the eve of the recession — suggesting either a sharp upward turn in the economy is imminent, or a sharp downturn is imminent.

Shares of Dow component American Express gained more than 6% following a first-quarter earnings beat. The credit card company reported earnings of $1.34 a share on revenue of $7.9 billion.  Analysts had anticipated $1.28 a share in earnings. Excluding its Costco-related revenue decline, sales came in 7% higher than a year earlier.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones
 



Mortgage applications decreased last week by 1.8% from the previous week. Total volume is down 23.5% from last year. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.22%. Mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level since November 2016. Applications to purchase a home fell 3% for the week and are up 1% from a year ago. Refinance applications were flat for the week, but are down 41.5% from last year. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

Industrial production rose 0.5% March. Most of that gain was due to the largest increase in utilities output on record. Factory output fell in March by 0.4%. (Reuters)

Consumer inflation in Europe moderated to 1.5% on an annualized basis, and to 0.7% when excluding the volatile food and energy categories. (LPL Research)

Rail giant, CSX, first-quarter profits climbed 2% to $362 million, or 39 cents per share.. CSX said its sales climbed 10% to $2.87 billion. The railroad was hit with a $173 million restructuring charge in the quarter. CSX layed off 1,000 management employees in February. CSX operates more than 21,000 miles of track in 23 Eastern states and two Canadian provinces. Its shares are up 31% in 2017.

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



Homebuilding fell in March by 6.8% to an annual rate of 1.22 million units. Single-family homebuilding fell 6.2.  Multi-family housing starts dropped 7.9%. On a positive note building permits increased 3.6% with a 13.8% surge in multi-family units. (Commerce Department)

Confidence among homebuilders remains high, according to the National Association of Homebuilder's Housing Market Index for April. While homebuilding is only a small part of the economy, it can provide important feedback on consumer strength. The overall housing picture continues to remain positive, supported by a strong labor market and tight inventory, although higher interest rates may be creating a bit of a headwind. (LPL Research)

Inflation expectations are at year-to-date lows. The 10-year breakeven inflation rate finished the week lower from 1.94% to 1.92% according to Federal Reserve Economic Data.

Big Blue, IBM, reported quarterly earnings that showed a growing cloud business. But the company has now posted five straight years of declining year-over-year quarterly revenues. The company had EPS of $2.38, that's a 1% gain.  IBM had sales of $18.2 billion, a 3% decline. IBM said it returned $2.6 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases in the first quarter. (Reuters)

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



Horizon Air and its pilots’ union have reached a labor agreement that will raise wages.  Alaska Air Group, Horizon's parent company and APA Teamsters Local 1224 announced the agreement on Friday.  The union represents 675 pilots. (Oregon Live)

Upside surprise to Chinese GDP. Chinese Q1 GDP was up 6.9%. Consumer spending is key to the Chinese government, as it is trying to manage its economy away from infrastructure and heavy industry and toward consumer spending and the service sector. (LPL Research)

Goldman Sachs reported first-quarter earnings that disappointed the street and are sending the stock lower. The bank had EPS of $5.15 a share on revenue of $8.0 billion.  Profits from stock trading fell 6% from last year. (CNBC)

Bank of America first-quarter results put a smile on Wall Street faces.  The bank posted EPS of 41 cents on revenue of $22.2 billion. The bank saw loans business grow by 6% in the quarter. (Reuters)

Johnson & Johnson quarterly sales rose to $17.8 billion up 1.7% in the first quarter. Pharmaceutical sales rose 0.8% to $8.25 billion. The company had profits of $4.42 billion in the quarter. (Reuters)

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



Producer prices fell in March by 0.1%.  That is the first decline in seven months. The decline was led by the cost of services and energy products. Despite the monthly dip in prices, the PPI climbed 2.3% over the last year. That was the biggest gain since March 2012.  (AP)

 

Retail sales fell in March by 0.2%.  Year-over-year retail sales increased 5.2%. The slowdown in sales is blamed on slow tax refunds. (Reuters)

 

The Consumer Price Index dropped 0.3% in March, the first decline in 13 months and biggest decrease since January 2015.  Year-over-year CPI is up 2.4%. (Labor Department)

 

Mixed batch of bank earnings last week. Results from the three big banks were varied but positive signs included strong trading results, particularly in fixed income, and solid loan underwriting. Net interest margin and loan growth performance were mixed for the group (though JPMorgan produced year-over-year loan growth of 9% and an increase in net interest margins). We expect loan growth to pick up over the course of the year for the banks overall as policy uncertainty clears and recent strong consumer confidence data is followed by better economic data. (LPL Research)

The S&P 500 is up 1 and the NASDAQ is up 15.  The MSCI international index is down.



Total mortgage applications were up 1.5% for the week, but is 21% lower than a year ago. Interest rates fell for the third straight week. Applications to refinance were unchanged for the week and are 40% lower than a year ago. Applications to purchase a home rose 5% for the week and are 3% higher than a year ago. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

Import prices fell 0.2% last month, their biggest drop in seven months, as the cost of petroleum declined. Prices for imported petroleum fell 3.6% in March. The year-on-year increase in import prices is 4.2 percent. Excluding petroleum, import prices have now increased for three straight months. Export prices rose 0.2% in March. Export prices increased 3.6% from a year ago, the biggest rise since December 2011. (Labor Department)

Private oil inventory data showed a 1.3 million barrel drawdown this week. The inventory data, supply disruptions, an in geopolitical tensions, and reports that the Saudis will agree to extend production curbs have fueled oil's recent winning streak. (LPL Research)

The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey revealed a 2.1% increase in job openings in February to 5.7 million, the highest level since July 2016.  Hires fell 2% month over month but remained near the best levels of the expansion. Year over year, openings were up 3.2% and hires were up 2.4%. (Labor Department)

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



The remarkable surge in small business optimism that began in November was sustained in March, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Economic Trends Report. The Optimism Index in March was 104.7. On the other hand, the Uncertainty Index hit 93 in March, which is the second highest reading in the survey’s history, as more small business owners are having a difficult time anticipating the factors that affect their businesses, especially government policy.

Inflation expectations are slightly lower. The 10-year breakeven inflation rate this week is slightly lower from 1.97% to 1.94% according to Federal Reserve Economic Data. The 1.94% level is below the Fed's 2% inflation target. (LPL Research)

We are out of the gates with earnings season.  Delta Air Lines had first-quarter profits of $603 million. The airline had sales of $9.2 billion in the period. Delta shares are down almost 8% since the beginning of the year. (AP)

Starting next week, Wal-Mart will give discounts on 10,000 online-only items if you pick them up at the store. The retail giant is also cutting hundreds of jobs to reduce costs. (CNBC)

Gold is at its highest level since November, up 10% this year, on the flight to safety against international uncertainty. (CNBC)

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



New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) margin debt made another all-time high in February at $528 billion. Many say this is a contrarian indicator, as it shows investors are potentially over-leveraged. So is record margin debt really a warning sign for equities? For starters, it appears to be more of a coincident indicator than a leading indicator, as margin debt made an all-time high in April 2013 and it has moved higher with the S&P 500 the past four years. In fact, the S&P 500 has gained approximately 70% since margin debt started making new highs. (LPL Research)

The S&P 500 is likely to produce double-digit year-over-year earnings growth for the first quarter as earnings season gets underway this week. Consensus is for +10.1% earnings growth.  That would be the best since 2011. Growth is expected to be powered by energy's rebound from the oil downturn that battered the sector early last year while solid macro data in recent months is also supportive. (LPL Research)

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Composite Advance/Decline (A/D) line broke out to new highs last week. This shows how many stocks are advancing versus declining at any given time. In other words, it measures overall market breadth. To see new highs occur suggests there is a good deal of investor participation and the overall equity rally could continue to have legs. (LPL Research)

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



Mentor Graphics' $4.5 billion sale, which closed last week, won't bring immediate changes to the company or its Wilsonville headquarters, says the new owner Siemens. Mentor will retain its name, headquarters and CEO. Siemens the German engineering giant also said Mentor will hold onto the vast majority of its employees. Mentor reported record revenue of $1.3 billion in 2016 and $155 million in profits. Mentor employed 5,700 before the deal with Siemens, including about 1,000 at its 53-acre Wilsonville campus. (PBJ)

A little deeper looks at the March jobs report. The U.S. economy created 98,000 jobs in March, decelerating from February's downwardly revised 219,000. The unemployment rate was a positive surprise, falling from 4.7% to 4.5%. Wage growth disappointed slightly at +0.2% month-over-month growth, but stands at a healthy 2.7% year over year. Slowing job growth is normal at this point in the cycle. Job creation would need to slow to a sustained 25,000-50,000 per month to signal that a recession may be imminent. (LPL Research)

The banking scandal at Wells Fargo is still unfolding. An independent Wells Fargo investigation into that sales scandal, is clawing back an additional $28 million in pay from former CEO John Stumpf and $47 million from community banking chief Carrie Tolstedt. (CNBC)

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



The US economy added 98,000 new jobs in March. Of those 89,000 were in the private sector.  The unemployment rate fell to 4.5%. (Labor Department)

Costco had higher comparable same store sales last month of 6%, following an increase of 4% in February and 7% in January. The company had sales of $11.64 billion in March, up 9% year over year. Costco, has 729 warehouse stores, 508 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 95 in Canada, 37 in Mexico and 79 in the rest of the world. (Zacks)

 

The Federal Reserve minutes from the March meeting show they were beginning to discuss the gradual reduction of the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet.  No final decision was made. They also expressed concern about stock valuations. (LPL Research)

Initial jobless claims for the week showed a continued decline in those seeking unemployment benefits. The decrease in claims to 234,000 points toward a tightening labor market. This marks the 109th straight week the figure has come in below 300,000, a key threshold generally associated with a healthy labor market. (LPL Research)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio Show when will answer the question “What should I do if the stock market falls?”

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



Walgreens reported quarterly results as EPS to rose 4% to $1.36, on revenue of $29.5 billion. Same-store sales at U.S. retail pharmacies rose 2.4%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores climbed 7.9%, and market share widened to 20.4% from 19.4% a year ago. (Investor Daily)

 

ADP employment report points to another strong month of job growth. ADP, the nation's largest payroll processing firm, says the economy added 263,000 new jobs in March. While the report augurs well for Friday's government employment report. Areas of strength indicated in the report included construction, manufacturing, and small business hiring, a positive sign that a recent surge in business confidence may be flowing through to hiring decisions. Estimates for Friday's jobs report stand at non-farm payroll growth of 178,000 and the unemployment rate holding steady at 4.7%. (LPL Research)

 

The non-manufacturing sector grew in March for the 87th consecutive month, says the Institute of Supply Management. The index hit 55.2.  Fifteen non-manufacturing industries surveyed reported growth and three industries reporting contraction in March.

 

Bed Bath & Beyond reported a quarterly profit of $268.7 million. The home goods retailer posted revenue of $3.53 billion.  Bed Bath & Beyond shares have fallen 7% since the beginning of the year. (FBN)

 

The S&P 500 is flat and the NASDAQ is up 2.  The MSCI international index is flat.

 

Oil is up 20 cents at $51.33 a barrel.

 

Gold is up $5 at $1254 a Troy ounce.

 

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



The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for March posted a strong 57.2. Internal numbers were robust, with the employment component rising to the highest level since June 201. There were, solid new orders, and a meaningful rise in new export orders. Improving global growth, a stabilizing dollar, and a rebound in oil prices have all been contributing to the rebound in manufacturing, which may be part of a developing trend of accelerating business spending in 2017. (LPL Research)

February's trade deficit came in at $-43.2 billion, a sizable improvement on January's disappointing $-48.2 billion. The data should provide a boost to first quarter 2017 gross domestic product (GDP), to be released later this month. The improved data were largely driven by a decline in imports (-1.8%), but did show a small gain in exports (0.2%), a positive sign for global growth, with the total value of exports rising to their highest level since 2012. (LPL Research)

LinkedIn Workforce Report says employers hired fewer people in March, but year-over-year hiring remained strong. Hiring the U.S. was 5.8% higher than March 2016.
Hiring in the oil and energy industry was up by 30.8% from March 2016. (AP)

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



The S&P 500 lost 0.04% in March. This was the first monthly decline since October, just missing the first five month win streak since March-July 2016. It was still a great first quarter as the S&P 500 jumped 5.5%; the best return since Q4 2015 and the best Q1 since 2013. For the quarter, technology and consumer discretionary led, while telecom and energy lagged. (LPL Research)

Over the past 20 years, no month sports a higher monthly S&P 500 average than April at 2.0%. Going back to 1950, the average monthly return is 1.5%, with only the historically strong months of November and December better. There are multiple potential market-moving events in April: the start of Q1 earnings season, elections in France, and a potential government shutdown. But for the long-term retail investor this will be nothing more than white noise. (LPL Research)

The manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 94th consecutive month. The index hit 57.2, a decrease from the February reading of 57.7. Of the 18 manufacturing industries included in the survey, 17 reported growth. (Institute for Supply Management)

February construction spending increased 0.8%. Its highest level since April 2006. (Commerce Department)

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



Consumer spending rose in February by 0.1%. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending fell 0.1% in February. (Commerce Department)
 
The personal consumption expenditures price index gained 0.1% in February.  Year-on-year rate of increase in the PCE price index which measures inflation is 2.1%. That is the biggest year-on-year gain since April 2012. (Commerce Department)
 
Personal income rose 0.4% last month. Accounting for inflation wages increased 0.2%. Savings rose to a five-month high of $808.0 billion. (Commerce Department)
 
On the international front. Chinese PMI data remains relatively strong at 51.8. While not a robust figure, it is still the strongest official data since early in 2012. The Eurozone Consumer Spending Rose in February

Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading was softer than expected as full year CPI came in at 1.5% vs. the 1.8% expected. The softness of the data may take some pressure off the European Central Bank to begin tightening monetary policy. (LPL Research)
 
Haribo, maker of golden gummy bears, announced plans to open their first US factory in Wisconsin in 2020 and employ 400 individuals. Haribo employs 7,000 people worldwide at 16 sites in 10 countries. (Yahoo)
 
The S&P 500 is up 1 and the NASDAQ is up 6.  The MSCI international index is flat.
 
Oil is up 12 cents at $50.72 a barrel.
 
Gold is down $2 at $1249 a Troy ounce.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 
 



A federal judge says Wells Fargo must face a lawsuit holding it responsible for investor losses stemming from its mortgage-backed securities sales. Investors may pursue claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty. (Reuters)
 
DuPont will divest part of its crop protection business to FMC Corp, while acquiring FMC's health and nutrition business. DuPont will get $1.6 billion to compensate for the difference in the value of the assets. The deal is part of DuPont's commitment to European regulators to win approval for its planned merger with Dow Chemical. (CNBC)
 
GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2016 was revised slightly higher to 2.1%. The upward revision was mainly driven by a better picture of consumer spending. The first estimate of GDP for the first quarter of 2017 will be released on April 28, with expectations tracking to another quarter of near 2% growth. (LPL Research)
 
Initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week showed a decrease of 3,000 from the prior week. Claims remain comfortably below 300,000, which is generally associated with a healthy labor market. (LPL Research)
 
Join us this weekend for the Financial Focus Radio Show when we will tackle this question – “Is volatility back?”
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



U.S. stocks posted broad-based gains Tuesday, snapping its eight-day losing streak, as investors cheered better-than-expected economic data.  Attracting the most attention was a reading of consumer confidence in March, which soared to the highest level in more than 16 years. Separately, U.S. house prices roared to their highest in nearly three years as demand remains brisk.

U.S. house prices roared to their highest in nearly three years as demand remains hot, especially in the west.  The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index rose 5.7% in the three-month period ending in January compared to the same period a year ago, an acceleration from its 5.5% yearly increase in December. The 20-city index was up 0.2% for the month, or a 0.9% gain when seasonally adjusted.

Yesterday BlackRock the world’s largest money manager said it would overhaul its actively managed mutual fund business, cutting jobs, dropping fees and relying more on computers to pick stocks in a move that highlights how difficult it has become for humans to beat the market.  The world's biggest money manager has faced active stock fund withdrawals and the revamp is its biggest attempt yet to engineer a turnaround.

Oregon and North Carolina may be sneaker blue bloods thanks to Phil Knightand Michael Jordan, but the University of South Carolina has the biggest footwear and apparel deal among the Final Four teams in the men’s college basketball tournament.  South Carolina will get roughly $8 million in cash and equipment from Under Armour this year, including roughly $4 million in cash and $4 million in gear.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones




 



U.S. stocks overcame steep losses yesterday but the Dow and S&P 500 still closed lower as investors reassessed the prospects for President Donald Trump’s ambitious economic agenda after a Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare was scrapped last week.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average marked its longest losing streak since August 2011 with eight straight declines.


Kudos to Sears Holdings Corp. for finally admitting what everyone already knew: it's almost dead.  Sears indicated in its newly filed annual report that "substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern." Sears' cash position has melted from a high point of $1.7 billion for the 2009 calendar year to a mere $286 million to close out 2016.  The company hasn't generated cash flow from its operations since 2006.

New vehicles in March were sitting on the dealer’s lot for about 70 days, the longest amount of time for any month since July 2009, according to research firms J.D. Power. During previous months, new cars hovered in the lot around 65 days. It takes dealers about a week longer to sell new cars than it did this time last year, said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at used and new car sales site Autotrader.com.
 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones



US Stocks were 1.5% lower last week the worst week since September after the failure of a vote on the Presidents health care bill.  The difficulty over the health-care bill is likely to serve as a wake-up call for investors who had bid up stocks in anticipation of more business-friendly and pro-growth policies from Trump.

Starbucks held their annual meeting last week where they announced plans to open 12,000 new stores globally over the next five years that will result in more than 240,000 jobs worldwide. That includes 3,400 stores, representing 68,000 jobs, in here in the U.S.  This was the last annual meeting of the long-time CEO Howard Schultz who has done a fabulous job running the company.

When Amazon began offering free two-day shipping to Prime members, that fast shipping time became the new expectation for many customers who were previously accustomed to waiting much longer for their packages.  Now, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is setting the bar even higher with initiatives such as Prime Now and Amazon Flex, which ship goods to you in two hours and in some cases promise one-hour delivery.  It is getting more and more difficult for brick and mortar retailers to compete.

The wealth and number of the super-rich fell for the first time since the Great Recession. The number of the world’s billionaires fell by 3% last year to 2,397, according to the “Billionaire Census.” Some 283 people or 10% of total billionaires lost their billionaire status in 2016

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones



Weekly jobless claims ticked higher, but the labor market remains healthy. Initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week showed an increase of 15,000 from the prior week to 258,000. Claims remain below 300,000. This marks the 80th straight week below 300,000, the longest stretch since 1970. (LPL Research)
 
New single-family home sales moved to a seven-month high in February, increasing 6.1% to an annual rate of 592,000 units. Sales are up 12.8% year-over-year. At last month’s sales pace, it would take 5.4 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, down from 5.6 months in January. The median price for a new home fell 4.9% to $296,200 from a year ago. There was a 3.7% drop in sales of existing homes in February.  (Reuters)
 
Are they contenders for the market timers’ hall of fame? That empty room in Paducah Kentucky. Some 34% of mutual fund managers say stocks are "overvalued," according to a Bank of America survey. That's the highest level in the 17-year history of the survey. Some 80% of fund managers polled say the USA is the most overvalued part of the world. (CNNMoney)
 
Join us this weekend for the Financial Focus Radio Show when we will tackle this question – “Is the market ready to tumble?”
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Nike reported earnings of 68 cents per share for the quarter on total sales of $8.4 billion. Revenue for the Nike brand was up 7%. Competition from Under Armour and Adidas are increasingly pressuring Nike's business. Particularly in the U.S. (CNBC)
 
Rising housing costs are shrinking demand for home loans or pushing buyers toward cheaper, adjustable-rate mortgages. Total mortgage application volume fell 2.7% last week and is 12% lower than a year ago. Home prices continue to rise far faster than incomes. As a result adjustable-rate loan applications have doubled to 9% of all applications since the election. That is the highest level since October 2014. Refinance applications are down 26% from a year ago. Loan applications to purchase a home are up 5% from a year ago. (Mortgage Bankers Association)
 
This could be the start of the end game for a once iconic retailer. Sears suppliers are reducing shipments and asking for more advantageous payment terms worried the company is about to fold.  This follows the retailer's statements in its annual report expressing doubts about its ability to stay afloat. (CNBC)
 
AT&T and Verizon have joined a growing number of companies pulling their advertising from Google over placements on objectionable content. (WSJ)
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The streak has ended. The S&P 500 fell over 1% yesterday for the first time in 109 consecutive days. That falls short of the 110-day streak in early 1995, with the 112-day streak in 1985 next on the list. You have to go back to the 1960s for a longer streak. (LPL Research)

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index reached its highest level since 2000, hitting 97.6 in March, up from 96.3 in the previous month.

Leading economic indicators remain strong. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index rose 0.6% in February. The largest positive contributor for the month was the ISM new orders index, reflecting recent gains in manufacturing. The index accelerated to a 3.1% gain year over year, its highest growth rate since August 2015. The leading economic indicator index continues to point to a low chance of a recession in the next year. (LPL Research)

A third of all the J.C. Penney department stores in Oregon will close this summer as the company mothballs140 stores nationwide. Five of Oregon's 14 J.C. Penney locations will be closed. The Oregon stores closing are:
•Astoria
•Grants Pass
•La Grande
•Pendleton
•The Dalles

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



Business inventories increased by 0.3% in January from the previous month. Sales increased 0.2%. Inventories rose at retailers by 0.8% while sales increased 0.5%. Inventory growth was just 0.2% for the manufacturing sector. (Commerce Department)

Improving economic data points to more rate hikes. Data on initial claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts for February, and manufacturing for March were all solid and reinforced the Fed's view that the economy is improving. Unemployment claims remain near 43 year lows and have dropped by 19,000 over the past six months. Claims would have to rise by at least 75,000 over six months to indicate a recession. (LPL Research)

Heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has hired former U.S. Attorney General William Barr to help the company with an ongoing government investigation of its import and export practices. (Reuters)

British American Tobacco says demand for its "glo" tobacco heating device outstripped supply in its Japan test marketing.  Heat but not burn tobacco is rapidly gaining popularity in Japan. Philip Morris International has more than doubled the supply of its no burn devices but it was not enough to cover the demand. (Reuters)

The S&P 500 is up 1 and the NASDAQ is up 4.  The MSCI international index is lower.

Oil is up 25 cents at $49.01 a barrel.

Gold is up $2 at $1229 a Troy ounce.

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

 



US household net worth grew to a record $92.8 trillion in the last quarter of 2016, due in large part to gains in the stock market, according to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly financial accounts report.

Producer price inflation slowed in February, but the trend pointed to a steady building up of inflation pressures. The producer price index climbed 0.3% last month. In the last 12 months, the PPI is up 2.2%. (Labor Department)

The spread between high-yield corporate bonds, also known as junk bonds, and U.S. Treasury yields widened from 3.40% to 3.80% this week. Much of this move can be attributed to increased supply as junk bond issuers try to get ahead of the Fed rate hike. (LPL Research)

Does a lack of volatility mean complacency? The S&P 500 traded in a range of only 0.25% on Monday, the smallest range this year and one of the tightest ranges ever going back 50 years. Small ranges are nothing new, as the S&P 500 hasn't traded in a daily range of more than one-percent for 60 consecutive days, an all-time record. Additionally, the S&P 500 hasn't closed down by 1% or more for 105 consecutive trading days, tying the longest streak since late 1995. (LPL Research)

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



Oregon’s largest employer Intel has agreed to buy Israeli driverless technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion. That is a $63.54 per share cash deal.  Mobileye was founded in 1999. Mobileye employs 600 people. (Reuters)

Small business optimism is near its highest level in 43 years, according to the February National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index. The Index fell 0.6 points in February to 105.3. Three of the ten components increased, six declined modestly, and one was unchanged. Half of business owners expect better business conditions in the coming months. The job openings index reached its highest level since December 2000, but owners reported difficulty finding qualified workers. Twenty-six percent of small business owners reported raising compensation, one of the highest readings since February 2007. (NFIB)

U.S. shale oil producers will increase their output by 109,000 barrels a day in April, according to the Energy Information Administration. That will raise total output from the shale oil basins to 5 million barrels a day. Shale drilling started to recover in the second half of 2016. Oil prices hovered near three-month lows on Tuesday (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield hit 2.61% yesterday, the highest level in over two years on expectations the Fed will raise interest rates this week. (WSJ)

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

 



Big jobs report says the US economy added 235,000 jobs in February.  The private sector added 227,000 and government grew by 8,000. Unemployment rate stands at 4.7%.  (BLS)

There are 5.5 million open jobs in the U.S. economy. The labor force participation rate remains in long-term decline due to demographic factors after peaking in the early 2000s. The participation rate has moved up over the past few years after hitting a 35-year low in mid 2015. At 500,000 the number of discouraged workers in January 2017 was nearly 900,000 lower than at the peak in late 2009/early 2010, when there were 1.3 million discouraged workers. (LPL Research)

It has been a long slow decline, RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in two years. The company is closing 200 stores and evaluating the remaining 1,300. No list of stores to be closed has been released. (AP)

Bottled water surpassed soft drinks to become the largest beverage category by volume in the US in 2016. Bottled-water consumption reached 39.3 gallons per capita last year, while carbonated soft drinks slipped to 38.5 gallons. (Beverage Marketing Corp)

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



Eight years ago, the S&P 500 closed at its lowest level of the financial crisis, marking the end of the worst bear market since the Great Depression, down 57% from the highs. Going back to WWII, this is now the second-longest bull market ever at 97 months, with only the bull market during the 1990s longer. The S&P 500 is up 250% since the 2009 lows. This ranks as the third-best return during a bull market since WWII, with only the 1950s and 1990s bull markets up more. (LPL Research)

U.S. employers cut 36,957 jobs in February, a 19% decline from the month earlier.  That is a 40% year-over-year decrease. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, employers said they would hire 166,266 workers in the first two months of 2017, the highest January-February on record. The retail sector once again planned the most cuts. The biggest cuts came from J.C. Penney, which announced it is laying off 5,500 employees.

Make that 101. The S&P 500 might have closed lower for the third consecutive day yesterday, but it has now gone 101 days in a row without a one percent close lower. That is the longest streak since 105 in late 1995. Interestingly, that year had two streaks of more than 100 days. Taking another look at back-to-back losses, the S&P 500 had gone 25 trading sessions without two red days in a row, the longest run since 25 last summer. (LPL Research)

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



Dish will be part of the S&P 500 as of next Monday. The satellite television company replaces Linear Technology, which is being acquired by chipmaker Analog Devices, another S&P 500 company. (CNBC)

The National Federation of Independent Business February 2017 Jobs report is out. It finds small business owners are eager to hire, but are struggling to find qualified workers. 52% of small business owners either hired or tried to hire in February, with 44% saying they found few or no qualified applicants.

In February, China had its first trade deficit in three years. A construction boom moved imports higher than expected.  This gives support to the view China's economy is picking up. (Reuters)

Total mortgage application volume rose 3.3% last week, but volume is 18% lower than a year ago. Refinance volume is off 34% annually. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.36%. Buyers are struggling to afford the homes and are turning to adjustable-rate loans, which offer lower interest rates. Last week the ARM share of mortgage applications reached its highest level since 2014. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

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



Non-manufacturing output grew in February for the 86th consecutive month, per the Institute of Supply Management. The institute's non-manufacturing index hit 57.6 in February, up from the previous month. The non-manufacturing business activity index increased to 63.6, the highest reading since February 2011.

We have not built a new oil refinery in this country since the early 1980’s.  In a helpful move, Exxon Mobil, will spend $20 billion, over the next several years, on refineries and petrochemical plants in the Gulf of Mexico region. (WSJ)

Proof taxes have economic and employment impacts. Philadelphia's soda tax has led to a big decline in soft-drink sales. Supermarkets have seen Coca-Cola sales fall 30% to 50% and Pepsi has seen a 40% in sales in the taxing area and a 10% to 15% increase outside the city.  This has led to Pepsi cutting 80 to 100 jobs in the area. That is about 20% of their beverage workforce. (CNBC)

Dick's Sporting Goods stock price fell more than 6% yesterday. Fourth quarter profits fell 30% compared to the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter hit $2.5 billion, compared with $2.2 last year. Shares of Dick's are up 18.7% in the last 12 months. (Market Watch)

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



The S&P 500 was up 0.6% last week, which was the first six-week win streak since late 2015. In fact, it was the fourteenth six-week win streak since the March 2009 S&P 500 lows. Looking at the previous 13 times this occurred, the S&P 500 was higher on average by 0.8% a month later and positive in nine of the 13 instances. (LPL Research)

Other than the February employment report, due out Friday, it's a relatively quiet week for U.S. economic data. It's also the unofficial quiet period for the Federal Reserve ahead of the March 14-15 Fed meeting. The overseas calendar is chock full of potentially market-moving events, including the EU leaders summit, a potential House of Lords vote on Brexit, the European Central Bank meeting, and China's National People's Congress, where Premier Li will provide government targets for the Chinese economy in 2017. (LPL Research)

Big Lots, ticker symbol BIG, reported a quarterly profit of $90.1 million. The discount retailer had sales of $1.58 billion in the period. For the year, the company reported profits of $152.8 million, or $3.32 per share. Revenue was reported at $5.2 billion. Big Lots stock is up 4% in 2017 and up 26% in the last 12 months. (AP)

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



Big down day yesterday.  If the Dow and S&P 500 fall today it would be the first back-to-back loss since January. But we are headed for another positive week. (CNBC)

 

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, is giving thought to more cost cutting and will not pay bonuses to executives after a weak end of the year and a slump in Brazil. (WSJ)

 

Costco missed sales and profit expectations in the latest quarter sending shares lower by almost 5%. There is a price war in the industry as Wal-Mart is running a new price-comparison test to force lower prices. Costco same-store sales rose 3%. Costco will raise its annual fees by $5 to $60 for Goldstar and business members and by $10 to $120 for executive members.  Prices will rise on June 1st. Membership fees account for about 72% of Costco's operating income. Costco profits fell 6% to $515 million, or $1.17 per share, in the latest quarter. (Reuters)

 

Caterpillar shares sold off 4% yesterday on news that federal authorities raided three of its facilities. The company says it believes the searches were related to a Swiss subsidiary and how they account for sales and taxes. (AP)

 

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus radio when we will get you up to speed on a crazy week.

 

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



U.S. consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 0.2% in January. Consumer spending increased at a 3.0% annualized rate in the fourth quarter. (Commerce Department)

In January, the PCE, also known as the personal consumption expenditures price index, climbed 0.4%.  That is the largest gain since February 2013. Over the last 12 months, the PCE is up 1.9%. That was the biggest year-on-year gain since October 2012. (CNBC)

Paychecks were a little heavier in January as personal income increased 0.4%.  But income at the disposal of households after inflation and taxes, fell 0.2%. (Commerce Department)

Hershey, maker of Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups is cutting 15% of workforce. At the end of 2016 the company had 16,300 full-time employees worldwide. (Reuters)

Make that 51 in a row. The S&P 500 has now gone 51 consecutive days without trading in a 1% or greater intraday range. That is far and away the most ever, with 34 consecutive days in 1995 the previous record. The S&P 500 hasn't closed down 1% for 96 straight days, the longest since 105 in 1995. Lastly, the S&P 500 has closed within 1.5% of the all-time high for 76 consecutive days, the longest such streak going back 45 years. (LPL Research)

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



The Trump rally just keeps rolling. The numbers for February are in and the Dow added almost 4.8%, the S&P 500 climbed 3.7%, and the Nasdaq jumped 3.75%. It was the fourth month in a row all the indices moved higher. (CNBC)

Who said being President was not profitable? Penguin Random House is paying former President Barack Obama  and First Lady Michelle Obama, $65 million for two separately written memoir books.  That sets a new record for U.S. presidential memoirs. (FT)

Costco is expected to raise its membership fees by nearly 10% in the next couple of months. The fee hike could be announced Thursday along with the company's second-quarter earnings report.  The company recently increased its membership fees by 10% in Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Mexico, and the UK. (Business Insider)

Home-improvement retailer Lowe's quarterly profits jumped 34% to 86 cents per share.  That came on sales rising 16% to $15.8 billion. Same-store sales jumped 5.1%. (Investor Business Daily)

Best Buy, the No. 1 U.S. electronics retailer, reported a decline in holiday-quarter same-store sales. Best Buy's same stores sales fell 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Best Buy's net revenue fell 1% percent to $13.48 billion. (Reuters)

S&P 500 is up 17 and the NASDAQ is up 33. MSCI International Index is higher.

Oil is up 25 cents at $54.23 a barrel.

Gold is down $12 at $1242 a Troy ounce.

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



With 492 S&P 500 companies having reported this week it effectively marks the end of fourth quarter earnings season. S&P 500 profit growth is a solid 7.7 %. Revenue growth is a very respectable 4.3%. (LPL Research)

New orders for "core" durable goods fell 0.4% between December and January, but the December reading, initially reported as a 0.7% gain, was revised up to show a 1.1% increase instead. The durable goods data are notoriously volatile month-to-month and subject to large revisions.  Looking at changes over three months can help to smooth out some of the inherent volatility, and in the three months ending January 2017, core durable goods orders rose 9%, a clear acceleration from the 4% gain posted in the three months ending October 2016. (LPL Research)

Home buyers signed 2.8% fewer contracts to buy existing homes in January month over month. The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index is 0.4% higher than January 2016.

The retailer Target fell short on quarterly profits posting a $1.45 per share. Sales declined for the sixth consecutive quarter. They also lowered their 2017 forecast. (CNBC)

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



Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, with Oregon connections by being the led investor in the cash infusion that saved Bank of the Cascades during the dark days of the financial crisis, is headed toward confirmation as Commerce secretary. The Senate is set to vote on his nomination tonight. (AP)

This guy ought to know. Warren Buffett told CNBC stock prices are "on the cheap side" with interest rates at current levels. He has put $20 billion into stocks since just before the presidential election. Buffett lead Berkshire Hathaway released its year-end results this weekend, telling investors that gains would continue to be "substantial" in the coming years and the U.S. economy would continue its "miraculous" boom. Berkshire's earnings were up nearly 15% in 2016 from the prior year. (CNBC)

Big data, the internet and globalization are helping to keep prices low. Wal-Mart is running a new price-comparison test in at least 1,200 U.S. stores and squeezing packaged goods suppliers in a bid to close a pricing gap with rivals like Kroger. (Reuters)

Sears opened a full-service auto care facility called DieHard Auto Center last week. Sears' auto service stop provides oil changes, tire replacement and vehicle repairs.  (Automotive News)

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



U.S. housing starts declined 2.6% to an annual rate of 1.25 million units in January. Homebuilding is up 10.5% from January 2016. Single-family homes, which accounts for the largest share of the residential housing market, climbed 1.9%. The volatile multi-family housing segment starts tumbled 10.2%. Permits for future construction jumped 4.6% for the month to a rate of 1.29 million units, the highest level since November 2015. Builders continue to grapple with shortages of skilled labor. (Commerce Department)

Industrial production contracted in January, weighed down by a sharp decline in utilities, a move that is more reflective of the weather than economic activity. Manufacturing grew 0.2% and mining, which includes oil and gas, jumped an impressive 2.8%. (LPL Research)

Kraft Heinz a U.S. food company which owns Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has made an offer to merge with Dutch consumer goods company Unilever in a deal worth an estimated $125 billion. Unilever owns brand names Hellmann's mayonnaise, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Knorr soups. Unilever has declined the proposal. (Reuters)

Join us the weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will tackle the question … … “when will this bull market end?”

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



Increased spending at gas stations and restaurants in January, pushed up retail sales by 0.4%. Service station sales increased 2.3%, restaurants and bars rose 1.4%, and auto sales slipped 1.2%. Over the past 12 months, retail sales have risen 5.6%. (Commerce Department)

Consumer prices saw their biggest increase in nearly four years in January up by 0.6%.  In the last 12 months’ consumer inflation is up 2.5%, the biggest year-on-year gain since March 2012. Gas prices climbed 7.8%, accounting for nearly half of the rise in CPI. Food prices were up 0.1%, the cost of food consumed at home was unchanged, and the cost of medical care rose 0.2%.  (Labor Department)

 

Cisco Systems, a Dow component, beat street expectations on quarterly profits and matched on sales. The networking equipment maker got a boost from strong sales of its security-related products. (CNBC)

Kraft Heinz, the company behind Heinz Ketchup and Oscar Mayer products bested quarterly earnings and revenue expectations, but that is not helping the stock today.  The company saw its bottom line benefit from lower input costs and cost cutting from their merger in 2015.

 

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



Small business optimism rose again in January to its highest level since December 2004, according to the National Federation of Independent Business - Index of Small Business Optimism.  The Index reached 105.9. Five of the Index components increased and five decreased, but many held near their record high. The recent growth in optimism looks like the surge in the Index in 1983, which was followed by years of economic prosperity.

Producer prices rose in January by 0.6%. That is the largest gain in four years, but a strong dollar continued to keep underlying inflation tame. The PPI has increased 1.6% in the last 12 months. Prices for final demand goods increased 1%, the largest rise since May 2015. (Labor Department)

Total mortgage application volume is down nearly 31% from a year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home are 3% higher than a year ago and refinance volume is down 50% year-over-year and now stands at its lowest level since June 2009. With rising interest rates housing costs are moving borrowers to opt for adjustable-rate mortgages, which reached their highest level in over a year. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

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



Happy Valentine Day. The S&P 500 has risen only 40.9% percent of the time on Valentine's Day, compared to a historical daily rate of 52.1%. (CNBC)

The S&P 500 now has a market cap of $20 trillion crossing that mark for the first time ever. (CNBC) It is just 30 stocks but the exchange-traded funds that track the Dow Jones Industrial average have pulled in $2.6 billion in new assets so far in 2017, more than any other U.S. stock ETF. (WSJ)

The S&P 500 hit its 2016 low on February 11th and has since gained more than 26% since then. Over the past year, we've seen a massive global stock market rally, with financials, energy, and materials leading in the U.S. A year ago there were calls to "sell everything".  Another example why the market timers’ hall of fame” is an empty room in Paducah, KY. (LPL Research)

Japan Q4 gross domestic product data of plus 0.2% and 2016 GDP of up 1.0%, were modestly disappointing. Most telling was the miss in exports.

Apple posted a record closing high yesterday, which was last set a year ago in February 2015. (CNBC)

Oil is up 50 cents at $53.41 a barrel. Global demand for oil could outdo the ten-year average in 2017 as the health of the world economy improves. (OPEC)  

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


 



Chinese trade expanded both imports and exports.  The increase in exports suggests that the weaker yuan boosted exports. The data suggests an improving Chinese and global economy. (LPL Research)
 
Many oil market participants have questioned whether OPEC members would adhere to the production cuts agreed to at their November 2016 meeting. Saudi Arabia has actually reduced output more than they had agreed upon. This reduction has kept oil prices stable even as U.S. production has increased. (LPL Research)

Busy economic data calendar this week. Fed Chair Yellen's semiannual monetary policy testimony to Congress is the highlight. We will also get January CPI, retail sales, leading indicators, housing starts and industrial production. (LPL Research)

I think a revolution was launched in 1773 over the taxing caffeinated beverages.  The Democrat led Oregon House Committee on Revenue has introduced House Bill 2875 that would impose a five cent per pound tax on coffee beans.   Proceeds from the tax would go to some blackhole called the "Alternative Education Sustainability Fund.” (Willamette Week)

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



Initial claims for unemployment insurance remained pinned to 40-year-plus lows in the latest week, and continue to suggest that the labor market is tightening. Claims do provide a recession signal when they rise between 75,000 and 100,000 over a six-month period. Six months ago, claims were running in the 260,000 to 270,000 per week level. Over the last four weeks, claims have averaged 244,000 per week, so claims are running roughly 20,000 below six-month-ago levels and are not signaling a recession. (LPL Research)

After a slow start to fourth quarter earnings season, a solid 69% of S&P 500 companies have bested estimates, pushing the year-over-year earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 to 8.3%--nicely above the 6.1% consensus growth rate. Energy is poised to break earnings growth drought. It's been two years since the energy sector produced a year-over-year gain in quarterly earnings but is now tracking to +1%. (LPL Research)

Sears shares hit its lowest level since its merger with Kmart back in 2005, under $6/share on Thursday. There was no specific news to explain why shares fell. Today Sears is up over 20%, after announcing plans to cut debt and pension obligations by $1.5 billion this year. Sears was once one of America's leading retailers and an icon. (CNN)

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



Chinese foreign currency reserves fell last month to just under $3 trillion. While this is still a huge stockpile, China's reserves were roughly $4 trillion at their peak. Declining reserves call into question the government's ability to continue to support the yuan. (LPL Research)

European earnings growth for the fourth quarter is tracking in the mid-teens, ahead of the U.S. on rebounding energy sector profits and resilient economic growth in the face of political uncertainty. The macroeconomic outlook is still very much uncertain with elections coming up, particularly in France, and Greece back in the news. (LPL Research)

The US stock market is not yinging and yanging much.
The last time the S&P 500 closed down by at least 1% was 81 trading days ago on October 11th.  That's the longest stretch without 1% correction since 2006. The last time before that that there was such a long period of calm was 1995. (Bespoke Investment Group)

Whole Foods Market is shutting nine stores nationally.  The company has not provided a list of stores slated for closure. Whole Foods recorded a 1.9% sales increase in the quarter.  The company earned $95 million or 30 cents a share, down from $157 million or 46 cents last year. (AP)

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



The National Federation of Independent Business says small business hiring grew in December at an average rate of 0.15 workers per firm, the strongest result since September 2015. NFIB says 53% of small business owners hired or attempted to hire workers, up from 51% in November. Fifteen percent of small business owners said that finding qualified workers was their single biggest problem.

International trade unexpectedly narrowed in December. At $44.3 billion in December 2016, the nation's trade deficit on goods and services was smaller than the $45.7 billion deficit in November 2016. (LPL Research)

The makers of Cadbury, Oreos, Dentyne, Ritz and Tang, Mondelez posted quarterly profits of 47 cents per share, on sales below expectations. CEO Irene Rosenfeld said results were impacted by weakness in its business abroad. (CNBC)

Alaska Air, the nation’s fifth largest airline, posted a quarterly profit of $1.56 per share. Sales beat forecasts and the company increased its quarterly dividend to 30 cents per share. (AP)

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



It is a quiet week ahead for economic data and policy. With only some data from China. (LPL Research)

We will call fourth quarter earnings season good but not great. Earnings growth for the S&P 500 for the quarter are now tracking to 7.9%. Results have been driven by improvement in the energy sector, which is now tracking toward a 1% year-over-year increase. (LPL Research)

We have had time to dig into Fridays jobs report. It showed the economy is performing well enough to create lots of jobs, but not enough to cause wages to rise. Average hourly earnings-a timely but imperfect proxy for wage inflation-decelerated to a 2.5% year-over-year gain in January from the 2.8% reading in December. (LPL Research)

Hasbro posted sales that were up 11.2% to $1.63 billion, helped by strong demand for its Disney Princess and Frozen dolls. Hasbro said revenue from toys in the girl’s category jumped 52%. Global sales of its gaming products also rose 11%. That pushed profits upward to $192.7 million, or $1.52 per share, in the quarter, from $175.8 million, or $1.39 per share, a year earlier. (Reuters)

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



The Department of Labor says the US economy added 227,000 jobs in the first month of 2017.  Private sector added 237,000 jobs and government shed 10,000 jobs.  Unemployment rate stands at 4.8%. Wages grew 2.2% over the last 12 months.

Worker productivity remains well below average. Output per man hour, or productivity, posted a 1% year-over-year increase in Q4 of 2016, but is still well below the pre-Great Recession pace of 2.5-3.0% seen in the 10 years prior to 2007. Slow productivity growth combined with a slow growing labor force keeps the lid on the maximum pace of gross domestic product growth. (LPL Research)

Should you root for the Patriots? The Super Bowl Indicator claims that the stock market does better for the year if an original team from the NFL (NFC) wins versus a team from the AFC. When the NFC wins, the markets have been up 10.9% versus up only 4.3% if the AFC wins. Taking it a step further, when the Patriots have been in the Super Bowl (eight previous times), the full year gain has been only 0.3% with the return actually worse after they won. (LPL Research)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will talk about the importance of diversification in your wealth building efforts.

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



The manufacturing sector expanded in January with the Institute for Supply Management index hitting 56. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting. The overall economy has grown for 92 consecutive months. (AP)

Ahead of Fridays big government jobs report ADP
says private companies added 246,000 new workers to the payroll in January. Goods-producing companies hired 46,000 workers, the highest in two years. Construction added 25,000 jobs and manufacturing added 15,000 jobs. Services added 201,000 positions. Firms employing 50-499 workers added 102,000 jobs. Small businesses hired 62,000, while large companies hired 83,000 persons. (CNBC)

The Portland office of Walmart Labs is cutting eight of its 29 positions as part of their e-commerce business. Company-wide the company is cutting a total of 200 positions from the e-commerce organization. (PBJ)

Facebook exceed earnings and revenue estimates as ad sales grew 53%. (AP)

Royal Dutch Shell recorded its worst annual profit in more than a decade, as low oil prices continue to weigh on the industry. (CNBC)

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



The Federal Reserve ends a two-day meeting this afternoon with an announcement on interest rates. Don't expect a change to rates at this meeting, though the Fed's statement could shape expectations for the rest of the year. (AP)

Apple saw strong demand for the iPhone 7 with profits in the quarter up 8% to $3.36 a share, and sales increased 3% to $78.4 billion. Over the quarter, 78.3 million iPhones were sold, up 5% from a year earlier. Services revenue increased 19% in the quarter to $7.17 billion. (AP)

The employment cost index rose 0.5% in the final quarter of 2016. The ECI reflects how much companies, and governments pay their employees in wages and benefits. The index grew by 2.2% in 2016 and 2% in 2015. Wages represent about 70% of a company’s cost to employ its workers. Benefits rose 0.4%, marking the smallest increase in since the spring of 2015. (MarketWatch)

Whole Foods is shuttering its three commercial kitchens, which manufacture ready-to-eat meals for stores. Whole Foods is going to outsource food preparation. (WSJ)

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



Stocks dropped to close lower yesterday with the Dow logging its worst daily loss since mid-October as investors grappled with the latest policy decisions by President Donald Trump.  The Dow also dropped back below the 20,000 level.  Wall Street is also looking ahead to a heavy week of economic data, corporate earnings and the latest meeting by the Federal Reserve set to begin Today.

Americans spent more on new cars and other big-ticket items in December to finish the year on an optimistic note, though a key level of inflation hit the highest level in more than two years.  Consumer spending rose 0.5% last month, matching the estimate. That’s the biggest increase in spending in December since the last month of 2009, just as the U.S. began to emerge from the Great Recession.

Personal income advanced 0.3 percent last month after nudging up 0.1 percent in November. Wages and salaries rebounded 0.4 percent after slipping 0.1 percent in November. Income increased 3.5 percent in 2016 after rising 4.4 percent in 2015.

Shares of Fitbit Inc. plunged 17% to a record low yesterday after the company cut its fourth-quarter guidance and announced plans to lay off more than 100 workers.  Following “weaker-than-expected” holiday sales, Fitbit said it expects an adjusted loss per share of 51 cents to 56 cents in the quarter.  The company said it plans to lay off about 110 employees, or 6% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring of the business.

Shares of airline companies were knocked lower yesterday and are at a 2 month low amid concerns that the nationwide protests at airports in response to President Trump’s executive order to ban immigration from certain predominantly Muslim countries would curtail demand.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones



New home sales in December fell 10.4% to an annual rate of 536,000 homes. Sales totaled 563,000 in 2016, up 12.2% year over year their highest since 2007. (Commerce Department)

Bank of the Cascades fourth-quarter profits jumped 43% to $5.9 million. Net income for 2016 was $16.8 million compared with $20.6 million in 2015. In 2016 the BOTC paid $4.9 million in merger-and-acquisition expenses lowering profits. (PR Newswire)

All that Facebooking takes some juice. Prineville, the home to several large data centers for both Facebook and Apple is running low on electricity. That means plans for a proposed factory cannot be supported on the current power grid. The factory could provide 300 additional jobs if electricity can be provided. (Oregonian)

Microsoft posted a 3.6% jump in profits for the quarter making $5.2 billion. Revenue, excluding LinkedIn, was $25.838 billion.  Their LinkedIn division had revenue of $228 million in the quarter, equaling a loss of $100 million. Microsoft's shares re up 23.2% in the past 12 months. (Reuters)

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



Umpqua Bank, the largest bank based in the State, reported $24.8 billion in assets up 6% in 2016. Deposits climbed 7% to $19 billion. With low interest rates Umpqua's net interest income fell 3% in 2016 to $844 million. The bank had a Q4 profits of $0.27 per share. (PBJ)

Formerly one of the largest privately held companies in Oregon, door and window maker Jeld-Wen is looking to raise $452 million in an IPO. The IPO would value the company at about $2.4 billion. Jeld-Wen sold 58% of the company to a Canadian investment firm Onex in 2011 for $864 million. Onex moved Jeld-Wen's headquarters to North Carolina in 2015.
(Oregon Live)

Big boy toy maker Caterpillar, reported a loss fourth quarter of $1.17 billion or $2 per share. The company had revenue of $9.57 billion in the period. Caterpillar shares are up 6% in 2017 and up 69% in the last 12 months. The company says it will benefit from President Trump’s infrastructure-spending plan but those impacts won’t be seen before late 2017. (AP)

AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, reported quarterly profits of $2.44 billion, or 39 cents per share on revenue of $41.84 billion. Capital spending is estimated around at $22 billion in 2017. (Reuters)


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



Big rally yesterday as President Trump took jobs action. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted record closes. The Dow finished less than 90 points away from 20,000. (CNBC)

Home resales fell in December by 2.8% from the prior strong month. That is an annual rate of 5.49 million units.  Home sales of 5.45 million units in 2016 is the highest since 2006 and up from 5.25 million in 2015. The number of unsold homes on the market fell 6.3% from 2015 to 1.65 million units, the lowest level since 1999.  (National Association of Realtors)

The Wall Street Journal exposes more ethical rot at Wells Fargo.  It is reporting branch managers were warned at least 24 hours in advance of “surprise” internal inspections.

Boeing reported fourth-quarter profits of $1.63 billion or 2.59 per share. The airplane builder had sales of $23.29 billion in the quarter. Boeing shares are up 3% in 2017 and are up 29% in the last 12 months. (AP)

McDonald's is rolling out a revamped Big Mac tomorrow.  To celebrate they will give away 10,000 bottles of the Big Mac Special Sauce at participating locations around the nation. (USA Today)

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



Johnson & Johnson posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter profits but lowered their 2017 sales forecast. J&J profits came in at $1.58 a share. Sales for the quarter were $18.1 billion. (The Street)
3M, makers of Scotch tape and Post-it notes, reported quarterly results with profits of to $1.15 billion, or $1.88 per share. 3M's operating expenses fell 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Net sales fell 0.4% to $7.33 billion. The company gets more than 60% of its revenue from outside the United States. The company's stock is up 28% in the last 12 months. (Reuters)

Supermarket operator Kroger, owner of Fred Myers, will fill 10,000 jobs in 2017. This represents about 2% of Kroger's total workforce. Kroger had about 431,000 full- and part-time employees as of January 2016. The company hired more than 12,000 workers in 2016. (USA Today)

Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies diapers and Kleenex tissue reported fourth-quarter profits of $505 million or $1.40 per share. That comes on sales of $4.54 billion. Kimberly-Clark shares have climbed 2.5% since the beginning of the year, but the stock has fallen more than 6% in the last 12 months. (AP)

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


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