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This week the focus will likely be on earnings. Corporate earnings are likely to overshadow the Federal Reserve amid the busiest week of earnings season with nearly 40% of the S&P 500 reporting. The Fed holds their two-day monetary policy meeting with no rate hike expected. The U.S. economic calendar includes housing, manufacturing, durable goods, and second quarter gross domestic product. (LPL Research)

36.6% percent of household in 2016 rented, about the 1965 number of 37%.  That according to a report by the Pew Research Center.  U.S. households grew by 7.6 million over the past decade, but the number of households headed by owners remained relatively flat, while households headed by renters grew by nearly 10%.

Summit Bank expanding its current Bend branch by 745 sq ft and adding four new staff members. (Bulletin)

Hasbro makers of Star Wars, My Little Pony and Transformer toys saw sales rise 11% in Q2. U.S. and Canadian revenue grew 16% to 494.4M. The companies operating margin rate grew 60 bps to 10.3%. (Seeking Alpha)

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



Portland’s ban on new bulk fossil-fuel terminals has been rejected by the state Land Use Board of Appeals. LUBA said the zoning ordinance was an unconstitutional restraint on interstate commerce. The ordinance banned new storage facilities with capacities greater than 2 million gallons and prohibited existing terminals from expanding. (PBJ)

Sears announced the launch of Kenmore products on Amazon, as well as the integration of the full line of Kenmore Smart appliances with Alexa. (CNBC)

Oregon’s largest employer, Intel, has eliminated most of its health wearables division. (CNBC)

Leading economic indicators increased 0.6% in June, beating expectations and pointing to an improving economic outlook. (AP)

It took more than 17 years, but the S&P 500 Information Technology sector finally closed at a new all-time high yesterday. The previous record was set on March 27, 2000 and it took 4,354 trading days until that peak was bested yesterday. One thing to remember is: Adjusted for inflation, tech is still 29.8% away from an all-time high. (LPL Research)

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



Chinese gross domestic product came in at +6.9% year over year, above expectations, while industrial production and retail sales came in at +7.6% and 11.0%, respectively. (LPL Research)

It’s the Summer doldrums.  Trading volume has been very light lately. It was the second-lowest volume day of the year in the U.S. on Monday, as just 5 billion shares traded on the NYSE and Nasdaq. (LPL Research)

Housing starts jumped 8.3% to an annual rate of 1.22 million units, the highest level since February. Single-family homes, which accounts for the largest share of the residential housing market, surged 6.3%.  Starts for multi-family housing increased 13.3%.  Building permits surged 7.4%.  (Reuters).

Cascades Company from Canada has opened a $64 million factory in Scappoose. The facility employs 70 persons in the manufacturing of toilet paper and paper towels. (OregonLive)

Summit Bank with a branch in Bend and HQ in Eugene reported a 40% jump in Q2 profits of $960,000. The Summit loan portfolio grew by almost 24%. Deposits rose by $44.9 million, or 19% year-over-year. (Eug Reg Grd)

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



Don Tykeson, a pioneer in Oregon’s broadcasting industry, was 90. At one time he was the owner of Liberty Broadcasting in Eugene and until three years ago owned Bend Broad Band in Bend. Tykeson, was also a founding director of C-Span and grew up on a farm near Newberg. (Bend Bulletin)

With the first 30 company results in, S&P 500 companies are tracking to an 8.1% year-over-year increase, marginally above the 8.0% growth rate expected.  Following Friday's big bank reports, financials have produced a 6.6% upside surprise, above last quarter's 5.5% upside surprise. (LPL Research)

Millions of Americans on Social Security are projected to receive a 2.2% increase or about $28 a month for the average recipient in 2018. This year Social Security recipients received an increase of 0.3%, after getting nothing in 2016. The last time they got a bigger increase was in 2012, when the hike was 3.6%. (SSA)

Goldman Sachs posted a profit of $3.95 per share in the second quarter, on revenue of $7.89 billion. Shares are off over 1% in early trading. (CNBC)

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



Microsoft is closing its Wilsonville Oregon facility where it builds giant touch-screen computers. The company will eliminate 61 jobs in September and another 63 in the following months. (OregonLive)

The Consumer Price Index was unchanged in June as the cost of gasoline and mobile phone services declined. In the last 12 months, the CPI is up 1.6%. (Labor Depart.)

Retail sales fell in June by 0.2%. Down for a second straight month. The number was pushed down by declines in spending at service stations, clothing stores, supermarkets, restaurants and bars and hobbies. Retail sales are up 2.8% year-on-year. (Commerce Department)

Industrial production rose in June by 0.4%. Up for a fifth straight month. Mining output which includes oil and gas increased 1.6% led coal mining and in drilling and support activities. Utilities output was unchanged. Capacity utilization, which measures how fully companies are deploying their resources, rose to 76.6% in June. (Reuters)

U.S. consumer sentiment fell to 93.1. In the July survey, a reading of current U.S. economic conditions is at 113.2. (University of Michigan)

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



Producer prices rose 0.1% in June as increases in the cost of services offset declining energy prices. In the last 12 months, the PPI increased 2.0%.  Energy prices fell 0.5% and food prices jumped 0.6% in June. (Reuters)

Chinese trade data, both imports and exports, were greater than forecast. In general, we look to exports as a sign of global economic health, whereas imports tend to tell us more about the country in question. Chinese exports to other emerging markets were steady, with greater improvement in shipments to developed markets. Exports were led by electronics, while steel exports declined. Chinese imports of oil by volume increased again, suggesting some strength in the Chinese industrial economy. (LPL Financial)

The two hallmarks of 2017 have been a steady climb higher for stock prices amid historically low volatility. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) just marked the 45th time this year it has closed between 10.0 and 11.0. This is already a record, topping the 32 times it closed in the 10s in 2006. The VIX has averaged 11.54 so far, this year the lowest annual average ever. The current low record is 12.42 in 1995. (LPL Financial)

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



Research Indicates Obamacare May Have Cost 250,000 Small-Business Jobs. Casey Mulligan, author of “Side Effects: Economic Consequences of Health-Care Reform,” wrote in the Wall Street Journal that according to research he commissioned from Hanover Research, the costs of Obamacare have cost roughly 250,000 small-business jobs, even though two-thirds of those businesses offered health coverage even before Obamacare was passed. (NFIB)

Springfield based Roseburg Forest Products will build a $200 million engineered wood products plant in South Carolina. The 450,000-square-foot plant will be constructed in 2018 on 200 acres near Chester, S.C. The facility is expected to create 148 full-time jobs. Roseburg has more than 3,000 employees, in plants in Oregon, California, Montana, Louisiana and Mississippi. (Eugene Register)

The S&P 500 has officially gone more than one-year without a 5% correction (using closing prices). This is only the sixth time since 1950 and the first time since 1995 this has occurred. The longest streak ever was a nearly 20-month streak ending in July 1996. (LPL Research)

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



Consensus expectations are for S&P 500 Q2 operating earnings per share of +7.0%. We saw +14% in Q1. This would be the fourth consecutive quarterly gain. In the past five years, companies have been beating expectations by roughly +3.5%, if that trends holds, EPS gains could come in near 10%. Thus far, just 5% of companies have reported, with 78% beating expectations.  (LPL Research)

The NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism shows US small business owners’ optimism waned in June due to Congressional inaction on healthcare reform. The index declined 0.9 points to 103.6. The Index remains at a historically high level, but within the Index there are signs of trouble that should be a concern. Fewer business owners expect business conditions to improve, and fewer expect sales to improve. (NFIB)

The Pouting Pundits of Pessimism are now preaching "high debt levels among nonfinancial corporations” as the coming end of the world. Nonfinancial US corporation debt is at a record high of $18.9 trillion. Since 1980, nonfinancial corporate debt has averaged 44.9% of total assets. Right now, these debts total 44.5% of assets, slightly less than average. The record was 50.6 in 1993, right at the beginning of the longest economic expansion in US history. (FTA Advisors)

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



Happy Slurpee Day!

Lone Rock Timber of Roseburg has filed a lawsuit, naming the State Land Board and Oregon Department of State Lands, seeking $1.3 million for out-of-pocket expenses plus $2 million in "lost business opportunity damages" after the state reneged on an offer to sell them the Elliott State Forest. The company also seeks 9% interest on the expenses it says it's owed. The suit alleges Oregon violated its own policies when elected officials "unilaterally and wrongfully terminated" an agreement to sell the land to the company for $220.8 million. (OregonLive)

Investors have yanked $26.7 billion from Goldman Sachs mutual funds in 2017. This makes Goldman the world's worst-selling fund manager globally. (Morningstar/FT)

Apple's market share of selling and renting movies is declining. Their market share is now between 20% and 35%, down from 50% in 2012. (Wall Street Journal)

PepsiCo reported a better-than-expected quarterly profits. Sales in the North America beverage business rose 2% to $5.24 billion. Total profits rose to $2.11 billion, or $1.46 per share up from $2.01 billion, or $1.38 per share, a year earlier. Total sales rose 2.1% to $15.71 billion. (Reuters)

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





The big government jobs report is out and the economy added 222,000 new jobs in June. Of those 187,000 were in the private sector. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4%. (Labor Department)

Ford reported a 15% jump in China vehicle sales in June, its biggest year-over-year increase so far in 2017. (CNBC)

Total mortgage application volume increased 1.4% for the week, but was 26% below one year ago. Refinancing dipped 0.4% for the week. Purchase applications rose 3% for the week and are 6% higher compared with a year ago. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.20%. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

NORPAC Foods will eliminate 223 jobs in Salem with the sale of its canning business to Seneca Foods. NORPAC will also close a processing plant in Hermiston and move that work to Brooks and to Quincy, Washington. No word on associated job loses with that closure. (OregonLive)

Join us this weekend for 2 hours of wealth building advice on Financial Focus Radio, when I will be joined by our two Millennial wealth mangers Josh and Sarah.

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

 



The Paychex Small Business Jobs Index fell to 100.10 in June for the fourth-straight month. Wages rose as national hourly earnings for the month were $25.82, up 2.88%, or 72 cents, year over year.

Second quarter earnings season has started and we might be in for a surprise.  About 5% of the S&P 500 have posted earnings so far and profits are up nearly 12% over last year and sales are up 8.5% with nearly 90% percent exceeding estimates. (CNBC)

The yield curve steepened last week for the first time in seven weeks. A steeper yield curve has historically been a positive leading economic indicator. (LPL Research)

Software giant Microsoft is set to layoff thousands around the world to reorganize its sales force. For years the company has focused on selling software for desktops and servers. Now the company wants to put more effort into cloud services. (OregonLive)

Costco reported sales of $12.17 billion in June an increase of 5% from last year. Costco shares have lost 13.21% over the past month, most of it coming after Amazon announced its deal to buy Whole Foods. (AP)

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



The first six months in the books. It was a solid start to the year, with the S&P 500 up 8.2%, the best start to a year since 2013. The year is going down in history as one of the least volatile starts to a year ever. The largest pullback has been only 2.8%--which is the second smallest first-half of the year pullback ever. Also, only four days have closed up or down 1% or more--the last time that happened was in 1972. (LPL Research)

Factories expanded as the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index rose to 57.8. The ISM index now stands at its highest level since August 2014.
Fifteen of 18 manufacturing industries in the survey posted growth in June, including the furniture, machinery, fabricated metals, petroleum and coal sectors. (AP)

Construction spending in May was flat. Spending was at an annual rate of $1.23 trillion. (Commerce Department)

A new report by Fidelity Investments  says the average women investors performed better than men by 0.4%, in 2016.

California owned winery Ponte Family Estate has acquired Sherwood based Hawks View Cellars which was founded in 2007. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. (PBJ)

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



Gross domestic product increased at a 1.4% annual rate in the first quarter, the slowest growth rate since the second quarter of last year. Exports gained by 7.0%.  Business spending on equipment increased by 7.8%. (Commerce Department)

The merger agreement between Walgreens and Rite Aid has been called off. Instead, Walgreens will now buy about 2,000 Rite Aid stores for about $5.2 billion. Rite Aid, had nearly 4,600 stores in the U.S. as of May. Stores included in the Walgreens deal are primarily located in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Southeast. (Reuters)

Nike reported quarterly results and the stocks is up 7% on the news. Nike is entering a pilot with Amazon, where they will directly sell a limited product assortment on Amazon. The offerings will include athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. Oregon’s only Fortune 500 company earnings per share was 60 cents on revenue of $8.68 billion. Total sales climbed 5.3%.  Sales for the Converse brand was $554 million, up 10%.  
(CNBC)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus radio for “the truth in wealth building” with Troy and Tyler.

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



U.S. stocks traded close to the flat line yesterday, with afternoon gains driven by a rally in the health-care and biotechnology sectors.  Health-care stocks led the gains, up 1.4%, as lawmakers released a “discussion draft” of the health-care bill that is aimed at repealing and replacing Obamacare. The plan includes cutting Medicaid and eliminating penalties for people who don’t buy insurance among other changes.

Oil finished modestly higher yesterday, with a second weekly decline in U.S. crude supplies helping prices recoup some of their recent losses.  But prices were still stuck in a bear market, defined as a decline from a recent peak of at least 20%, on lingering worries about strong domestic production growth.

Shares of Oracle are up over 8% after reporting earnings that topped Wall Street expectations after the bell yesterday.  Better-than-expected results were driven by its cloud business; revenue in that segment soared 58% to $1.4 billion.

American Airlines is in focus after receiving an unsolicited notice from Qatar Airways indicating that it wants to make a “significant” investment in the US airline, amounting to about a 10% stake.  Shares of American Airlines are higher on the news.

And Staples shares are moving higher following a Reuters report that private equity firm Sycamore Partners is in advanced talks to buy the office-supply retailer.  The deal could be worth more than $6 billion.


 



U.S. existing home sales rose in May by 1.1% to its third highest level in a decade. A chronic inventory shortage pushed the median home price to an all-time high. The number of homes on the market was down 8.4% from a year ago. Housing inventory has dropped for 24 straight months on a year-on-year basis. The median house price increased to an all-time high of $252,800, a 5.8% jump from one year ago.  At the current sales rate, it would take 4.2 months to clear inventory. The median number of days homes on the market in May was 27. (National Association of Realtors)

Total mortgage application volume is nearly 14% lower compared to one year ago. Refinance volume is about 30% lower than a year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home are 9% higher than one year ago. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

Private equity firm Sycamore Partners looking to acquire Staples.  The deal could top $6 billion. Staples has 1,255 stores in the United States and 304 in Canada. It has the largest market share of office supply stores in the United States at 48% percent, and its share has increased since 2011. (Reuters)

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



CNBC reports that most small businesses still rely on word-of-mouth advertising, and 45% said they do not have a website. Only 36% of the small businesses surveyed use a business website to communicate news to customers and potential customers.


The publication Advanced Manufacturing reports April U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $168 million, with a year-to-date total of $716 million, up 3.5% compared to 2016.


The market continues to expect slower trajectory of interest rate hikes. The Fed's post-FOMC statement leaned hawkish in that they continued to have an upbeat view of the economy, and didn't scale back on rate hike projections. However, despite this hawkish bent, market expectations for rate hikes fell slightly. Markets are currently pricing in a 46% chance of a rate hike by the end of 2017. (LPL Research)


FedEx quarterly earnings were $4.25 per share on sales of $15.7 billion. Both better than expected. The stock has been on a tear, gaining more than 12% in 2017. (Thomson Reuters)

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



Vancouver-based Papa Murphy's Pizza has hired former Dunkin' Brands executive Weldon Spangler as its new CEO. He brings 30 years of experience with companies like Starbucks and YUM, serving most recently as senior vice president for Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin' Brands Group, where he oversaw the Baskin Robbins ice cream brand in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. (PBJ)

Uber is losing U.S. market share, dropping from 84% at the start of 2017 to 77% at the end of May. Meanwhile, smaller ride-hailing rival Lyft is gaining ground. (FT)

Hasbro's is making a big bet on board games. The toy company is launching a subscription service that will send a new board game to consumers every three months. It costs $49.99/quarter. Sales of children's games rose 27%     this year; family strategy games, such as Uno, are up 56% in 2017. Hasbro stock is up more than 43% this year. (CNBC)

Charitable giving in the U.S. topped $390 billion in 2016, up nearly 3% according to the Giving USA Foundation.

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



Bend-based Humm Kombucha has received its first institutional investment of $10 million from San Francisco-based VMG Partners. The company employs approximately 50 workers and will use the funds for expansion. Humm makes fermented tea in a 40,000 sq ft production facility. Their product is available in all 50 States. Costco in the Northwest and the Southeast carry the brand. (PBJ)

 

Homebuilding slowed for the third straight month in May, with housing starts falling by 5.5%. Home construction is still 3.2% higher year-to-date. (AP)

 

Consumers are less optimistic than expected in June. The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index dropped to 94.5 in June (Reuters).

 

A executive order on drug pricing could come out his week.The order may trigger volatility in drug stocks. Healthcare has somewhat quietly-produced the second best sector return year to date (+13.6%). (LPL Research)

Moda Health Plans has sold its Old Mill office building for $25.5 million or $289 per square foot. Moda completed the 88,229 square-foot building in 2008, and 105 employs there. (Bulletin)

 

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



Looking deeper into what the Fed told us on Wednesday they reduced their projection for inflation from 1.9% to 1.7% in 2017. They raised gross domestic product projections from 2.1% to 2.2% for 2017 and lowered the projection for the unemployment rate from 4.5% to 4.3%. (LPL Research)

The scandals continue at Wells Fargo. Officials in its mortgage business were making unauthorized changes to home loans held by customers in bankruptcy, even as the bank was dealing with last year's sales practices scandal. The changes lowered monthly payments but extended the terms. (NY Times)

Import prices dropped 0.3% in May, the steepest decline in 15 months. The decline was driven by falling fuel prices. The price index for imports climbed 2.1% over for the last 12 months. Export prices decreased 0.7% in May, Export prices are up 1.4% over the last year.  (Labor Department)

Oregon-based Nike is trimming 2% of its global workforce.
Nike plans to focus on serving consumers in 12 cities, across 10 countries, with these locals representing over 80% of Nike's projected growth through 2020. (CNBC)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio Show when Tyler and I will tackle your calls and email questions.

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



In the first quarter of 2017, 400 U.S. CEOs surveyed by KPMG said they are “highly confident” in America’s growth engine over the next three years and see the U.S. as a top growth market.  They credit this to harnessing the power of disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as fending off competition.

Neiman Marcus has been exploring a potential sale. This week it reported its fourth straight quarterly loss in the face of intense competition from online retailers. Same-store sales fell 5% for the quarter. Neiman Marcus posted a loss of $24.9 million in the quarter, compared to a profit of $3.8 million last year. (FBN)

Retail sales had their biggest drop in more than a year in May, down 0.3%.  Over the last year retail sales rose 3.8%.  Some of the drop in monthly retail sales reflected lower gasoline prices. (Reuters)

The cost of goods and services for American consumers fell in May for the second time in three months as inflation continues to slow. The consumer price index, fell 0.1% last month. Inflation over the past 12 months slowed to 1.9% in May from a five-year high of 2.7% just four months ago. (MarketWatch)  

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



Inflation at the wholesale level was unchanged in May. Energy prices fell 3% and food costs declined 0.2%. Prices did rise for services such as car rentals and retailing clothing, jewelry, footwear and accessories.
Core inflation, which excludes food, energy and trade services has climbed 2.1% over the last year. (AP)

Sears is cutting 400 full-time jobs at its corporate offices.
The company is restructuring in an efforts to reduce costs by $1.25 billion annualized. Last week, Sears said it would close an additional 66 stores, adding to the list of 180 closures that was announced earlier this year. Sears stock has shed more than 41%over the past 12 months and is down about 25% year-to-date. (CNBC)

The Chinese fixed income market are under pressure. With slightly slower growth in China, the People's Bank of China eased its tightening program. (LPL Research)

It is the coming wave in food service. Digital ordering is boosting sales at the soup and sandwich chain Panera Bread. It's poised to pass $1 billion in annualized digital sales this year. It expects to double that by 2019. (CNBC)

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



The Vancouver, WA based Papa Murphy’s plans to close up to 16 of its stores by year end. Jean Birch, board chair and interim chief executive replaced Ken Calwell, who took the company public in 2014. Calwell resigned in January. Founded in 1981 Papa Murphy’s, has more than 1,500 franchised and corporate-owned stores in 39 states, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. (OregonLive)

The Nordstrom family is thinking of taking back complete ownership of the company. The board has formed a special committee of independent directors to evaluate the possible change. (The Washington Post)

Buy your next car online? Amazon has started hiring people to sell cars online in Europe. A German trade magazine reports the company plans to run the business out of Luxembourg, and it’s looking at Britain as a possible test market. (CNBC)

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for May matched its strong performance in April of 104.5. The Index has been at a historically high level for six straight months. Five of the Index components posted a gain, four declined, and one remained unchanged. Hiring activity is near the highest levels in the 43-year history of the Index.

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



A little cost cutting going on. Ford, the only domestic automaker not bailed out with your tax dollars, is offering buyout packages to about 15,000 workers in North America and Asia as they cut costs. (CNBC)

Emerging Market strength continues and this is why every well diversified and balanced portfolio should have some. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is now up 19.1% year to date. (LPL Research)

The week ahead. The Federal Open Market Committee meets on Wednesday, June 14th, Flag Day, and will include Chair Janet Yellen's press conference. The Bank of Japan also meets on Thursday. Noteworthy U.S. data due out includes consumer and producer inflation, retail sales, industrial production, and housing starts. (LPL Research)

General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt is stepping down. GE shares climbed on the news. The stock is off about 12% year-to-date. John Flannery, current president and CEO of GE Healthcare, has been named CEO of the company, effective August 1, 2017, and chairman and CEO effective January 1, 2018. Flannery, 55, began his career at GE Capital in 1987. (Bloomberg)

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

 



Home-price growth in the Portland area is slowing but still climbed by 1% in March, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index. Prices are up 9.2% from a year ago. Nationally, prices rose 5.8% in March. Homebuyers face a slim supply of homes for sale. The median sale price in the Portland was $370,000 in March, it rose to $385,000 in April.


Pendleton Woolen Mills President Mort Bishop III will retire effective June 30th. He has served in the role since 1999 and worked for the family-owned company for 40 years. He will continue to serve on the board. (PBJ)

Amazon plans to hire 1,000 workers for its distribution center in Troutdale. Amazon plans to invest $178.4 million in a robotics fulfillment center. (PBJ)

The CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey index posted 60 in the second quarter, on a scale of 0–100. Male small-business owners were found to be more optimistic than females, with a confidence level of 62, versus female small-business owners, with a confidence level of 56. Owners with less than four employees have a confidence level of 58. Those with 50 or more employees scored 67.

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



It’s Friday, that means it’s time for non-farm payrolls: US job growth missed expectations in May, while April’s figure was revised significantly lower.  Employers added 138,000 jobs in May, a report from the labor department shows. That compares with Wall Street expectations of 182,000. The April gain was revised lower to 174,000 from 211,000 previously.  Wage growth was also a tad weaker than forecast: Average hourly earnings were up 2.5 per cent year-over-year. (FT)

 

Crude prices have fallen almost 3% amid fears that the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accord will trigger more American drilling. Is it already happening? The U.S. oil industry exported a record 1.3M barrels of crude per day onto the world market last week - just a half million barrels less than the cuts OPEC and Russia agreed to make to daily production. (SA)

 

Illinois is on the verge of becoming the first state with a junk-bond rating following downgrades from Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings. Partisan gridlock is to blame. The state hasn't had a budget in place for the past two years because of a standoff between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-run legislature. (SA)

 

S&P 500 futures are up 1 and NASDAQ futures are up 11. The MSCI international index is up 3/5%.

Oil is down $1 at $47.49 a barrel.

Gold is up $1 at $1271 a Troy ounce.

 

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



Consumer spending recorded its biggest increase, 0.4% in four months in April. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. Consumer spending grew at its slowest pace in more than seven years in the first quarter. That helped to restrict gross domestic product growth to a 1.2% annual rate in the first quarter. (Commerce Department)

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index moved up 0.2% in April. In the last 12 months, the PCE price index increased 1.7%. (Commerce Department)

Personal income rose 0.4% last month. Income at the disposal of households after accounting for inflation advanced 0.2%. Savings were little changed at $759 billion in April. (Commerce Department)

The Consumer Confidence Index fell again in May to 117.9, but U.S. consumers remain optimistic on the whole. The Consumer Confidence Index hit 125.6 in March, its highest level since December 2000. Individuals saying business conditions are "good" edged down from 30.8% to 29.4% in May, but those saying business conditions are "bad" was unchanged at 13.7%.  Persons claiming jobs are "hard to get" decreased from 19.4% to 18.2%. (Conference Board)

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



Durable goods orders fell 0.7% in April. The downturn was the first since durable goods orders fell 4.6% in November 2016. Orders for transportation equipment fell 1.2% pulled down by a 9.2% drop in orders for civilian aircraft. (Commerce Department)

Gross domestic product increased at a 1.2% annual rate in Q1. That was the weakest performance since the first quarter of 2016 and followed a 2.1 percent rate of expansion in the fourth quarter. There are signs GDP growth regained speed early in the second quarter. (Commerce Department)

The S&P 500 Index traded for the 100th day of 2017 last Thursday. For the year it is up 7.9% and has made 19 new all-time highs. That is the most all-time highs as of day 100 since 1999. What does a good start to the year mean? Since 1950, there were 23 other years the S&P 500 Index was up 7.5% or more as of day 100 and the rest of the year it was higher 20 of those times with an average return of 9.0% the rest of the year. The full year return those 23 years was 23.4%. (LPL Research)

Shareholders approved the merger of Bend-based Bank of the Cascades with First Interstate Bank of Billings, Montana. The merger will be completed today. (Bulletin)

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



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.

 


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