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George Noorey
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The S&P 500 is coming off its best weekly gain of the year as investors begin a new week. The fate of the market will depend on corporate earnings in the coming weeks, as well as economic data. (CNBC)

The beer wars may not be over yet. AB InBev may raise its takeover offer for rival beer brewer SABMiller. Three offers have been rejected so far by SAB Miller. (Reuters)

Personal computer sales are doing even worse than expected. PC shipments plunged 10.8% in the third quarter, compared to the same period one year ago. The overall decline in PC usage and sales has persisted for several years, thanks to a shift to smartphones and tablets. With competing methods to go online, the urgency to upgrade personal computers has faded. (IDC)

Dell will purchase cloud computing company EMC in a deal worth $67billion, marking it the biggest tech transaction on record. (CNBC)

Ford plans to invest $1.8 billion over the next five years in China, to expand research and development in that country. It will include research on how to add greater smartphone connectivity, autonomous driving and other smart car features. (Wall Street Journal)

Stocks are searching for direction this morning, after powering higher for a fifth straight session yesterday The S&P 500 is on track for its best week of the year. (CNBC) Boosting the overall stock market is a rebound in oil, holding over $50 for the first time since late July. Crude prices were set for their biggest weekly rise since 2009. (Reuters)
Our phones are slowly becoming our wallet. Starbucks will soon accept Apple Pay, with KFC and Chili's on board sometime next year. Delta customers can now book and pay for flights using Apple Pay through the Delta app. (The Verge)
Medicare Part B premiums will rise 52% in 2016 for 7 million enrollees or 30% of beneficiaries because of a provision in cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security. (USA Today)
Earnings season officially left the gate last night as Alcoa reported a sharp drop in profits. The aluminum producer posted a profit of $44 million, as sales fell 11% to $5.57 billion, weakened by the stronger U.S. dollar and devalued Chinese  yuan. Oversupply, exacerbated by China’s economic slowdown, has battered aluminum prices, which have fallen about 14% since the beginning of the year. (Wall Street Journal)

Just 78 days till Christmas and retailers are painting a consistent picture of the holiday season. The National Retail Federation says it expects holiday sales to increase 3.7%. Predicted holiday sales in will reach $630.7 billion, rising at a rate significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5% percent. Last year sales rose 4.1%.
It is earnings season again and Domino’s is delivering to your door this morning. They reported profits of $37.8 million. The pizza chain posted revenue of $484.7 million in the quarter. Domino's Pizza shares have risen 15% since the beginning of the year. (AP)
Costco reported flat comparable store sales for September that beat estimates for a 0.8% decline. Excluding gasoline and currency impact, sales increased 8%. (CNBC)
The beer world is getting a little foamy. The worlds largest spirits maker, Diageo, may sell its beer division to brewer SABMiller, according to the New York Post. SABMiller could use such a deal to help it fend off a takeover attempt by rival brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Dell, the world's third-largest maker of personal computers, is in talks to buy cloud computing company EMC.  The market is currently valuing EMC at about $50 billion as of Wednesday's close. (Reuters)

Matthias Müller, Volkswagen’s new chief executive, said the German carmaker should be able to begin recalling vehicles affected by the diesel emissions scandal in January and complete repairs by the end of 2016.  He said that 11m vehicles will require a software update, but others will need new hardware.  The technical fix varies according to the model, transmission and country-specific factors, meaning VW requires a range of different solutions, adding to the expense.  Shares in VW have fallen more than a third since the scandal broke. (FT)

Central banks around the world are selling U.S. government bonds at the fastest pace on record, the most dramatic shift in the $12.8 trillion Treasury market since the financial crisis.  Sales by China, Russia, Brazil and Taiwan are the latest sign of an emerging-markets slowdown that is threatening to spill over into the U.S. economy. Previously, all four countries were large purchasers of U.S. debt (WSJ).

Yum Brands (the parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut) has discovered that the road to recovery in China is tougher than expected.  Chinese same-store sales, a key industry metric, rose 2 per cent in the third quarter, but trailed behind estimates for 9.6 per cent growth. Comparable sales have declined in each of the four previous quarters.  Yum has struggled in China, its biggest market, following a food safety scare in July 2014.  China accounts for more than half the company’s revenues (FT).

Oil prices are on the rise again following a near 5% jump yesterday. The surge is being triggered by data from the American Petroleum Institute showing a 1.2M barrel decrease in crude stocks last week, and expectations of increasing demand from the EIA. Oil is up $.73 at $49.26 a barrel, and has rallied 27% from its August low.  

The U.S. Treasury sold a new government security with a three-month maturity and a yield of zero for the first time on record yesterday, reflecting the highest demand since June.  In essence, buyers gave a free short-term loan to the U.S. government in exchange for a highly liquid debt instrument for their portfolio.  The result reflects diminishing expectations in financial markets that the Federal Reserve would raise short-term rates before year-end after Friday’s disappointing jobs report. (wsj)

U.S. industries as diverse as aerospace, agriculture and apparel lauded a historic 12-nation Pacific trade deal struck Monday, while pharmaceutical makers, tobacco companies and others criticized the pact as falling short in key areas.  Completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the biggest trade deal in a generation, marks a victory for President Barack Obama, who said it would open new markets to American products and set high standards for protecting workers and the environment. (WSJ)

Shares in SABMiller have taken a downwards turn following a report that the London-listed brewer behind brands including Miller, Peroni, and Grolsch rejected an informal offer made last week by its bigger rival, Anheuser-Busch InBev.  The offer was apparently rejected as being too low. According to some shareholders, the offer price should eclipse $110bn, which would be the largest merger of the year.  (FT)

US Stocks turned sharp opening losses on Friday into big gains by the end of the day to finish last week higher after the September jobs report disappointed leading investors to believe the Fed won't raise interest rates until 2016.  This week investors are looking to earnings season kicking off after the market close with Alcoa and PepsiCo to drive market direction.

Yesterday Saudi Arabia made deep cuts to the price it charges for its oil.  Countries in the Middle East continue to pump more oil and slash the price they charge for that oil in an attempt to undercut the marginal US producers and ultimately put them out of business so that long-term the price of oil is higher.  In the short-term however oil prices will continue to move lower.

Apple is the most valuable brand in the world followed by Google in 2nd and Coca-Cola in 3rd.  Apple's brand value increased 43% from a year ago to $170 Billion, Google's climbed 12% to $120 Billion, and Coke's value declined 4%.  Today is the first day that Google starts trading under the name Alphabet.

It turns out that giving CEO's huge bonuses to boost shareholder return doesn't actually work according to a study at Cornell University.  Rewarding CEO's with large stock bonuses seems to have an adverse effect placing their stock returns in the bottom quartile of all publicly traded companies.

And it's now legal in Oregon, but making money on marijuana here may not be that easy.  Legal pot may not be as big a boon to Oregon as it has been in other states.  Medical pot has been legal here since 1998 but dispensaries here have had a hard time making money unlike other states.  The headwinds Oregon faces are infused products are banned, it's already cheap here, and Oregonians already grow their own.

The Department of Labor says the US economy added 142,000 jobs in September; only 118,000 of those were in the private sector.  The unemployment rate remained at 5.1%. The August and July numbers both had big downward reductions.  These numbers give the Federal Reserve more ammo to not to raise interest rates. (Bloomberg)
Investor sentiment continues to deteriorate. Bullish investors dipped to 24.7%, from 26% a week ago. That is a big drop from late April when the bulls were 57.4%. Optimism is now below the March 2009 low of 26.4%. This dire negativity may present a buying opportunity. (CNBC)
Retailer Nordstrom announced they will pay a special dividend of $4.85 per share and a new $1 billion share repurchase program. (CNBC)
With just 84 days till Christmas the U.S. Postal Service has released a new "A Charlie Brown Christmas" stamps in celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the classic TV special, which originally aired on Dec. 9, 1965. (USA Today)
Join us Saturday at 10 for Financial Focus Radio when health insurance expert Don Klippenes will join us. We will discuss how health insurers will lose about $2.5 billion because patients covered through Obamacare last year were sicker than expected. (AP)

On the first day of the final quarter of 2015 stocks are higher again this morning. Wall Street closed out a negative September with the S&P 500, and Nasdaq both down about 7% for the third quarter. The fourth quarter has traditionally been positive for the market. Stock indices have rallied in four of the past five Octobers. (CNBC)
Layoffs by U.S.-based companies surged in September to 58,877 jobs, up 43% from August. The layoff count in the third quarter was 205,759, making it the worst quarter for job cuts in six years. Hewlett-Packard accounted for a big part of the reductions cutting 32,500 jobs. Energy remained the biggest job-cutting sector for the year, with 72,708 cuts announced since January. (Challenger, Gray & Christmas)
Wal-Mart will cut hundreds of jobs at its Arkansas headquarters in an effort to cut costs. The cuts make up a small portion of the more than 18,000 people employed there. (Reuters)
Spice maker McCormick reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $97.6 million. The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The company posted revenue of $1.06 billion in the period. McCormick shares have climbed 11% this year. (AP)  

Stocks are sharply higher on the last day of the third quarter, which has been dismal for Wall Street. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are set to register their biggest percentage losses for a three-month period since the third quarter of 2011. (CNBC)
US consumer confidence rose slightly in September and was just below the post-recession high. The consumer confidence index increased to 103.0 from a revised 101.1 in August. That's the highest level since January, when consumer confidence touched an eight-year high. (Market Watch)
Costco, the second-largest U.S. retailer, posted quarterly results with profits climbing 10% to $767 million. Costco’s sales rose 1% to $35 billion, helped by a 2.2% gain in membership fees. Excluding the effect of falling gas prices and foreign-exchange fluctuations, Costco’s same-store sales grew 6 percent last quarter. (Bloomberg)
With the big jobs report on Friday all eyes are on jobs and we have been seeing corporate downsizing especially in the oil patch. Chesapeake Energy will reduce its workforce by about 15% or 740 jobs, as depressed energy prices forced deeper cost cutting at the nation's No. 2 natural gas producer. (Reuters)  
Just 86 days till Christmas, starting tomorrow, Target will match the online prices of more than two dozen of its Internet competitors, including Amazon and Wal-Mart. (CNBC)

With two trading days left in September, stocks are testing this year's lows as investors fret over perceived slower economic growth in the U.S. and China, and falling oil prices. (CNBC)
Cal-Maine Foods, the nation’s largest egg producer reported quarterly profits increased 454% on sales of $610 million.  The outbreak of avian flu that hit the U.S. chicken and egg suppliers earlier this year has led to record high egg prices. During the quarter, Cal-Maine sold nearly 259 million dozen eggs at a net average selling price of $2.24 per dozen. In the year ago quarter, the company sold about 252 million dozen eggs at a net average selling price of $1.35 per dozen. (Wall St. 24/7)
Reynolds American, who just closed their acquisition of Lorillard, announced a $5 billion deal to sell assets to Japan Tobacco. The assets include trademarks for the Natural American Spirit cigarette brand outside the U.S. (Market Watch)

Stocks are lower this morning. With three trading days left in September the S&P 500 has seen a 2% drop for the month.  Avoiding a government shutdown and Friday's monthly employment report are major market drivers this week. (CNBC)
Asian stocks were mixed last night, after Chinese industrial profits declined 8.8% year-over-year in August, their sharpest drop since 2011, adding to concerns about the world's second-largest economy. (CNBC)
Energy Transfer Equity will acquire The Williams Companies in a business combination valued at approximately $37.7 billion, including the assumption of debt and other liabilities. (CNBC)
Royal Dutch Shell is ending exploration in the Arctic waters off Alaska after failing to discover a sufficient amount of crude. The oil giant may take a charge of up to $4.1 billion as a result. (FT)
Alcoa says it will split into two publicly-traded companies, citing its legacy aluminum operations and higher-value auto businesses were diverging and no longer compatible. (Reuters)

Fed Chair Janet Yellen made Mr. Market very happy by telling us we will have an interest rate hike later this year.  The good news is this means the health of global economy might not be that big a concern after all for policy makers. (CNBC)
The third and final estimate of 2nd quarter GDP shows the US economy grew at a 3.9% rate. That is better than expectations and a good rate of economic growth. (AP)
Nike reported a 23% jump in quarterly profits of
just under $1.18 billion. Sales leapt 5% to $8.41 billion.  A stronger dollar hampered the results and revenue would have climbed 14%, excluding that impact. Sales in North America were up 9%, rose 14% in Western Europe and climbed 26% in Central and Eastern Europe. The most significant growth came from China and Japan. Sales rose 30% in China and 35% in Japan. (AP)
Bed Bath & Beyond posted a quarterly profit of $1.21 per share, but sales were below estimates, and same-store sales increased by a lower than expected 0.7% compared to the prior year. The company's margins have been pressured in recent months by increased promotions, and higher spending on online advertising and technology upgrades. (CNBC)

Stocks are under pressure this morning, as the S&P 500 looks to avoid a three-session losing streak. With five trading days left in September, the S&P 500 is lower for the month. In potential market moving news Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks this evening on inflation and the economy. (CNBC)
This is an example of deflationary pressures in the economy.  Wal-Mart wants price cuts from suppliers that make goods in China. The retailer wants to share in the benefits generated from China's devaluation of the yuan. ( Reuters)
Deal-making timed with Chinese President Xi Jinping's U.S. visit, Boeing has struck a deal to sell 300 jets to China, valued at about $38 billion.  Boeing will also open a plant there that would work on part of the production process for its 737 jet. (AP)
A union-backed group will move forward with a ballot measure that would raise taxes on corporations by more than $2.5 billion a year. Under the measure, some corporations would pay a minimum tax of $30,000 a year, plus 2.5% of sales above $25 million. About 1,000 corporations doing business in Oregon would be affected. The group may also decide to proceed with yet another initiative that would raise personal income taxes for individuals with a taxable income of more than $125,000 and for joint filers above $250,000.  (Oregon Live)

“You can observe a lot by just watching.” -- Yogi Berra
Mr. Market continues to worry about China. Asian stocks slid deeper this morning, after a preliminary reading of China's manufacturing sector fell to a six-and-a-half-year low in September. Expect some volatility today as investors look ahead to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments tomorrow afternoon, after the central bank decided not to hike interest rates last week because of its concerns about China's slowdown. (CNBC)
Bank of America shareholders have voted to allow CEO Brian Moynihan to retain his position as chairman. A group of investors, mainly public pension plans, had pressed to split the roles. (CNBC)
A leading indicator of commercial construction activity took a steep drop in August, possibly due to increased volatility in financial markets. The American Institute of Architects reported its Architecture Billings Index dropped from 54.7 to 49.1. Anything below 50 indicates a decrease in design services. (CNBC)
The construction industry has been plagued by a labor shortage. Eighty-six percent of construction firms surveyed in July and August by Associated General Contractors of America said they were having difficulty filling hourly craft or salaried professional positions. (CNBC)

With 94 days till Christmas Macy's plans to hire 85,000 temporary workers for the holiday shopping season, down from 86,000 last year. About 12,000 positions would be based in direct-to-consumer fulfillment facilities, customer service centers will get 1,600 workers and more than 1,000 will be hired as support staff across the country for other events such as the Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Fox Business News)
Need something to go with that new iPhone? Apple is progressing on efforts to create a car.  The decision on whether it will be a self-driving car, an electric vehicle or a combination of the two has not been made. (NY Times)
New research says the number of households spending more than 50% of their income on rent is set to rise at least 11% to 13.1 million by 2025. The study noted we are now seeing more renters than at any other time in U.S. history. Homeownership rates have fallen from a peak of 69.2% in 2004 to 63.4% this year, the lowest since 1967.   (CNBC)
Darden's the owner of Olive Garden, earned $86.4 million last quarter.  Revenue totaled $1.69 billion essentially flat to last year. Sales at restaurants open at least a year rose 3.4%. Darden shares are up 4.6% in early trading. (AP)

Haggen is trying to sell part of its prescription business back to Albertsons before it's forced to take a loss on the pharmaceuticals. Now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Haggen has asked the court for approval to sell pharmacy records and inventory to Albertsons for nearly $13 million. Haggen bought the pharmacy assets from Albertsons earlier this year. Only three Oregon stores are involved two in Klamath Falls and one in Portland. (Oregon Live)


Wal-Mart will hire 60,000 employees this holiday season. The company also hired 60,000 people for holiday season jobs last year, but says it has more employees working more hours in its stores than it did in 2014. The company says most of its holiday-season employees stayed with the company after the holidays ended. The company has about 1.4 million workers in the U.S..  (AP)


The biggest competitor to Oregon’s largest company Nike is Under Armour. Under Armour expects to reach $7.5 billion in revenue by 2018, lifted by an expansion into new markets. Under Armour, got its start producing polyester workout shirts aimed at football players in the 1990s, has fueled growth by continually pushing into new categories. Sales in the most recent quarter rose 29%.  (Bloomberg)

Stocks are sharply lower, after the Fed opted not to raise interest rates.  The decision sent stocks on a wild ride, with the S&P 500 closing lower and the Nasdaq finishing higher. A dovish after meeting statement cited global economic and market volatility concerns. There could be some extra volatility at the close today, with quadruple witching and the expiration of option and future contracts. (CNBC)

Student debt in the U.S. is not holding back most young professionals from buying a home. This contradicts warnings that soaring education loan levels are hurting the housing market. The report, which draws on 2013 data tracking thousands of households since the late 1960s, found that having more student debt had only a slight negative impact on homeownership for people who get their degrees.  (WSJ)

Just when you thought was safe to go back in the Mediterranean we are having a Greek election.  Eight months after being elected to office on an anti-austerity pledge and then going back on the promise, Greece's populist Prime Minister seeks a new mandate from voters Sunday. (USA Today)

Join us Saturday at 7 a.m. for Financial Focus Radio when we will talk about low interest rates and your savings.

A decision on whether to hike borrowing costs for the first time in nine years comes as the Fed ends its two-day meeting, with release of a press release at 11am. This will be followed 30 minutes later by a news conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. (CNBC)

Drugstore chain operator Rite Aid cut its full-year forecast for drugstore sales and total earnings, citing rising generic drug prices as insurers have been slow in raising reimbursement rates for those drugs. Profits fell to $21.5 million in the quarter.  Sales rose 17.5% to $7.66 billion. (Reuters)

If you want to take a trip to the valley you can attend the Nike annual shareholders meeting today in Beaverton, Oregon. The meeting begins at 10 am. This will be the last meeting Phil Knight will run as he is stepping down as chairman next year. Travis Knight, Phil Knight's son, was named to the company's board as part of Phil Knight's succession plan. Thursday will be his first annual meeting. (AP)

Netherlands-based telecom Altice has agreed to buy U.S. cable TV provider Cablevision in a deal valued at $17.7 billion. Altice failed earlier this year to buy Time Warner Cable. (CNBC)

A group of pharmacy workers at Target's Brooklyn, New York store, have won a vote to form a microunion, making it the first unionized store at the retailer since its inception in 1902. (Reuters)

Oil is down 40 cents at $46.78 a barrel. Oil surged 6% yesterday on increasing optimism that the lowest level of the recent cycle was hit in August. (CNBC)

Happy Wednesday everyone.  It's September Federal Open Market Committee meeting eve today!  The picture’s been complicated by the recent market turbulence that may see the central bank hold off on raising rates. Many investors are hesitant to make big trades ahead of the decision, and U.S. economic data published yesterday did little to show which way the Fed will swing. While raising rates will almost certainly send waves through the markets, not moving will likely keep the guessing game - and accompanying stock gyrations - alive for weeks to come. U.S. futures are cautious on the upcoming decision.  (Seeking Alpha)

On the brink of a historic break-up, Hewlett-Packard disclosed yesterday that it is planning to slash up to 30,000 more jobs to put its new enterprise business on stronger footing as a standalone company.  The cuts come on top of 54,000 jobs that have already gone over the past three years since chief executive Meg Whitman took the helm.  (FT)

Forget 10 Barrel, Anheuser-Busch has its sights on bigger prey these days.  In developing news this morning, Anheuser-Busch InBev said it had approached SABMiller about a takeover, paving the way for a deal that would likely value SABMiller well in excess of its $75 billion market capitalization, and create a brewing giant that would dominate much of the global beer market.  AB InBev and SABMiller are the world’s two largest brewing companies, and a combination would trigger an intense antitrust review around the world.  There’s been no formal offer yet, as the companies hope to continue a “friendly dialogue”.  

After consumer sentiment fell, investors were waiting to see whether Americans reined in spending in August. Retail sales rose by 0.2% in August, slower than the 0.6% gain in July. (Bloomberg)

No strikes in Detroit yet. Negotiators for Fiat Chrysler and the United Auto Workers union worked through the night on a new contract. Meanwhile, contracts with General Motors and Ford were extended while the union focuses talks with Fiat Chrysler. (CNBC)

The head marketing executive for Virgin America is the newest director of Umpqua Bank. Luanne Calvert will join its board on Sept. 25th. She previously worked as creative director at Google. She will become Umpqua's 13th board member. Directors earned between $68,000 and $140,000 last year. Umpqua is  Oregon's biggest bank. (Portland Business Journal)

Umatilla County fruit growers are still hurting where not a single cherry was harvested commercially in after the November 2014 freeze. Growers around Milton-Freewater, northeast of Pendleton, won't have a cherry crop until 2017 after a November freeze , killed buds and trees. Even some apple trees were killed all the way down to the roots. The area grows about 650 acres of cherries and fetch a premium price. (AP)

Wall Street is looking for another winning week, after the S&P 500 gained 2% for its best week since July 17. On Thursday we hear from the Federal Reserve about interest rates, a meeting that will preoccupy traders all week. There are a few U.S. economic data points to watch this week, they include August retail sales tomorrow and CPI, consumer inflation data, Wednesday.

The age of the self-driving car is on our door step.  Google is a leader in that space and has named John Krafcik, TrueCar president and former CEO of Hyundai Motors America, as chief executive of its self-driving car project, which started in 2009. (CNBC)

The United Auto Workers union has picked Fiat Chrysler as its target in ongoing contract negotiations. The current agreement expires just before midnight, but will likely be extended. (AP)

Demand for Apple's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus was stronger in China than most regions, including the U.S., according to early reports. The tech giant may release numbers from first-day pre-orders today. (Re/code)

The S&P 500 is down 2 and the NASDAQ is down 4. The MSCI International Index is up 0.25%.

Oil is down 25 cents at $44.44 a barrel. Oil prices have fallen almost 60% since June 2014 on the back of the largest global surplus in modern times. The U.S. oil rig count fell by 10 to 652 last week, the second straight weekly drop.


Traffic & Weather

  • Colorado Bridge will be closed for 6 weeks from October 5 until November 17.
  • Nightwork: Lane closure on the Parkway: Reed Market Road off-ramp.  7pm-6am starting October 12.
  • Lane closure on Parrell Road near Silver Sage 7am - 4pm through October 9.
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