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Americans applying for government disability benefits is plunging, evidence that a stronger economy is pulling people back into the job market (NY Times)

The 334.3 million mobile phones shipped during the first quarter of 2018 was a 2.9 percent decline year over year and was led by China, which declined to a level not seen since 2013. (IDC)

The National Association of Realtors say existing home sales slipped 0.4 percent last month. It was the second straight monthly decline in sales. Existing home sales, which make up about 90 percent of U.S. home sales, dropped 3.0 percent on a year-on-year basis in May. They have declined for three straight months.

Darden Restaurants', owners of the Olive Garden, saw quarterly results top Wall Street expectations. Darden earned $174.5 million, or $1.39 per share, up almost 41%. Revenue increased to $2.13 billion. Sales at Olive Garden restaurants open at least a year rose 2.4% in the quarter.

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



The Commerce Department said U.S. homebuilding surged to near an 11-year high in May up 5% from last month. Building permits fell 4.6%, the lowest level since September 2017.

Barron’s reported fewer than half of US consumers look past the first five options, or the first page of results, at least half the time when searching for products on ecommerce sites.

Research published by Cowen & Co. found the amount of retail overlap between traditional retailers and online commerce continues to trend upwards. Cowen found that 87 percent of Target shoppers also visited Amazon, while 83 percent of Walmart consumers also shopped on the online platform.

The combined wealth of the world's millionaires rose for a sixth straight year, topping $70 trillion for the first time ever in 2017 thanks to an improving global economy and strong stock market performance. (USA Today)

General Electric is being dropped from the Dow after being included in the 30-stock index for 111 years. It will be replaced by drugstore chain operator Walgreens Boots Alliance. (CNBC)

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



Capex has been rebounding and has the means, motive, and opportunity for a sustained run. We are seeing on-going signs of a rebound in business spending and investment and believe the trend is likely to continue. Lower tax rates and the brining home of foreign profits are giving businesses the means to invest; business confidence and a tight labor market are providing the motive; and provisions in the tax law incentivizing capex and a still solid global growth backdrop are providing the opportunity. This could produce a sustainable pick-up in economic growth and the possible extension of our 2.75-3.0% 2018 growth estimate later into the cycle. (LPL)

At the close yesterday, the Dow was up about 1.5% for the month and S&P 500 up about 2.5% for the month, with the Nasdaq up more than 4% for the month. The Nasdaq is up about 12% in 2018, with the S&P is up nearly 4% and the Dow is up 1.5% year-to-date. (CNBC)

Foreign governments reduced their purchases of U.S. debt by about $5 billion each for March and April. Most notable was Russia, which sliced its holdings of U.S. debt nearly in half from March to April, from $96.1 billion to $48.7 billion. Foreigners held $6.17 trillion of the total $14.84 trillion of Treasury debt outstanding through April. The national debt is more than $21 trillion. (CNBC)

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



U.S. rolls out tariffs on Chinese goods. President Trump approved a list of more than 1,100 items expected to generate ~$50 billion in taxes on Chinese imports, with an additional $16 billion in goods still under review. Collection is slated to begin in three weeks. The value of the tariffs suggests this is another negotiating tactic. (LPL)

The East Coast-based clothing chain Brooks Brothers has closed its downtown Portland store. It opened in 2008. The Portland store was Brooks Brothers' only Oregon location. (OBN)

Kellogg is recalling 1.3 million cases of Honey Smacks cereal due to potential salmonella contamination. (Reuters)

Apple has signed a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey as part of the tech giant's push into original content. Winfrey will create original programs. Apple has reportedly committed $1 billion to original content. (CNBC)

If you were looking for another reason to fly first class, Alaska Airlines is now serving ice cream from the Portland-based Salt and Straw. (Oregon Live)

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



According to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index for May, the rapid rise in home prices is resulting in a divergence in consumer attitudes toward buying and selling a home. Those who said that “now is a good time to sell a home” rose to 46% up 14 points over the year before, while those “who said now is a good time to buy a home decreased to 28%. (Mortgage Orb)

Strong retail sales for May point to accelerating second quarter growth. Consumer demand picked up steam in May as retail sales rose 0.8% versus April and up 6.4% year over year. The increase was broad based with 10 of 13 categories showing growth, including building materials with a 2.4% increase. The data are a clear sign that consumer spending has picked up nicely after a soft first quarter. (LPL)

New applications for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly last week, coming in at 218,000. The labor market is considered to be close to full employment and the data further affirms our view of a strong and gradually tightening labor market. (LPL)

Microsoft is developing technology to eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores. Challenging Amazon's automated grocery stores. (Reuters)

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



Surging fuel costs spur wholesale inflation. Producer prices rose more than expected last month, up 0.5% from April and 3.1% year over year, to more than 6-year highs. Growth in the headline reading was driven primarily by rising fuel costs, as wholesale gasoline prices spiked 10% from the prior month. When stripped out, core inflation rose a more modest 2.3% from a year ago. (LPL)

Consumer inflation ticks higher. The year-over-year rate of growth in the consumer price index (CPI), was 2.8%, bested consensus expectations for a 2.7% as energy costs continued to rise. Meanwhile, the core reading, which strips out the more volatile food and energy components, held steady month over month at +2.1% as medical care services and auto prices rose, while growth in transportation costs moderated. (LPL)

Small Business Optimism Index Continues Historic Highs. NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index for May was the second-highest in the 45-year-history of the survey. The index saw a three-point gain, rising to 107.8. Positive earnings trends reached a survey high, and positive sales trends are at their highest level since 1995.

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



Today the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by 0.25%. That news comes at 11 am.

The expansion turns 9. The economic expansion officially turns 9 years old this month, making it the second longest behind the 10-year expansion during the 1990s. (LPL)

Daimler Trucks North America will invest millions on an automated truck research and development center in Portland. The facility will be located at the company's Swan Island headquarters. (PBJ)

IHOP has announced its new name – IHOb. To promote the debut of the brand’s new Ultimate Steakburgers, the company is flipping the “P” in its name – which stands for pancakes – to “b” for burgers. However, the name change is only for the “time being,” with no set date for the return of its classic branding. (FBN)

H&R Block earned $5.43 per share for its first quarter. The tax preparation firm also saw sales beat forecasts. They raised their quarterly dividend by 4 percent to 25 cents per share. (CNBC)

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



U.S. stock-market indexes traded moderately higher yesterday ahead of a highly anticipated summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore and a litany of potentially market-moving central-bank meetings.

Home Depot plans to spend $1.2 billion over the next five years to speed up delivery of goods to homes and job sites as the rise of online shopping resets consumer expectations.  The home improvement retailer will add 170 distribution facilities across the U.S. so that it can reach 90% of the U.S. population in one day or less.
U.S. factory orders fell by 0.8% in April, somewhat higher than expected. Economists had forecast a 0.5% drop. The decline was concentrated in commercial aircraft. Orders for nondurable goods also rose slightly.

The International House of Pancakes AKA IHOP is probably getting exactly what it wanted when it decided to change the name of the pancake chain to IHOb to celebrate its launch of a new line of burgers.  The company changed the P to B for burgers and has been getting plenty of press.  It seems gimmicks are the new form of marketing…
 



Global PMI data reflects broad global strength with U.S. taking the lead. Measures of U.S. manufacturing activity have broken away from the global pack to the upside while the European manufacturing sector has slowed over the past couple of months. Still, recent Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data indicates a solid 80% of countries are in expansion. (LPL)

The trade deficit narrowed by $1.0 billion in April, its second straight decline, to $46.2 billion, marking the smallest deficit since September 2017. The reduction in April was driven by a smaller goods trade deficit, while the services surplus was little changed. However, on a 12-month total basis, the trade deficit widened marginally to $573.1 billion, the biggest gap in nine years, with deficits with China and Europe hitting records.
(LPL)

Kraft-Hines, the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world with a market cap of $71 billion has created a “Legal-Ade” unit to help kids fight any legal issues or fines associated with lemonade stands. Any child fined for running a lemonade stand without a permit can have his or her parent apply for reimbursement. Each submission will then be reviewed by Country Time Lemonade’s team. (FBN)

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



U.S. stocks struggled for direction yesterday, with major indexes paring an early advance with the Nasdaq down firmly as major technology stocks sold off.  That was offset an uptrend in banking stocks.

The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, and JP Morgan’s CEO Jaime Dimon wrote an OP ED piece in the WSJ calling for America’s public companies to stop making quarterly profit forecasts.  Buffet and Dimon said the quarterly earnings guidance leads to an unhealthy focus on short-term profits and the expense of a good long-term strategy.

Shares of Costco traded higher yesterday, after the company reported May sales showing same-store sales were up 14% to $11.02 billion from $9.66 billion in the same month a year ago. E-commerce sales were up 34.4%, the company said. In the U.S. the strongest regions were the Midwest, Texas and the Southeast, while internationally, Mexico, Japan and Taiwan were standouts.

Jobless claims were 222k last week and the rate of layoffs in the economy are at 50 year lows as the labor market continues to be on fire.



April figures show that the number of job openings, at 6.7 million, topping the number of unemployed people (6.3 million) for the first time in the report's 18-year history. Openings in manufacturing and services increased, though the number of hires was little changed. Labor turnover remained fairly static overall. Net employment rose 2.4 million for the month, indicating the labor market continues to tighten as the economic cycle continues to progress. (LPL)

Both ISM non-manufacturing and Markit services came in better than expected, with backlogs in non-manufacturing orders hitting a record high and growth in services activity accelerating at rates not seen in three years. Inflation pressures increased as input costs rose, but robust demand and the order backlog, in conjunction with a tight labor market, point to continued upside for the U.S. economy. (LPL)

Applications to refinance a home loan are 17 percent lower than a year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home are 9 percent higher than a year ago. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 7.1 percent of total applications. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

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



This week has saw continued strength under the surface. In fact, the Russell 2000, Russell Microcap, technology sector, and Nasdaq all closed at new all-time highs. Not to be outdone, various advance/decline lines made new highs as well including: the S&P MidCap, Nasdaq 100, NYSE, NYSE common stock only, S&P 100, S&P small cap, and S&P 500. (LPL)

Treasury futures remain at historic net short levels. The positioning indicates market participants believe yields will move higher. However, this has been an important counter-cyclical indicator, as profits (or losses) on these positions can lead to buying Treasury futures to close them out, leading to a decline in interest rates over the short term. (LPL)

The Oregon Treasury has decided not to give public employees a choice in how a portion of their retirement savings is invested. The agency decided the move could leave investment managers open to lawsuits if things don't go well. (Oregon Live)

Hobby Lobby opened its first store in Portland last weekend. Hobby Lobby's first Oregon store opened in 2014 and has four other Oregon locations, in Bend, Springfield, Albany and Salem. (Oregon Live)

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



Oregon is known for loving recycling, but China's decision to ban the importation of many types of recyclable materials has had a major impact across the state. With China out of the picture the price for many recyclables has plummeted, which ultimately will mean that more recyclables are placed in the landfill or consumers will foot more of the bill to recycle. (Eager Law)

Americans spent $230 million on doughnuts last year.  According to Square, Inc., nearly 100 million were sold in the U.S. in 2017. Americans spent 37% more on doughnuts last year over the previous year.

US companies are set to pour $2.5 trillion into buybacks, dividends and M&A this year according to UBS.
The moves should help boost a stock market that has been stuck in neutral for much of the year. May set a record for share repurchases. UBS expects dividend issuance to top $500 billion, buybacks to range from $700 billion to $800 billion, and M&A to constitute about $1.3 trillion.

McDonald's will upgrade 1,000 stores with kiosk and mobile order technology every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters. They are exploring delivery in the U.S. (CNBC)

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



wage rates will increase 25 to 50 cents an hour. It will cost the company about $110 million to $120 million a year before taxes. 90 percent of Costco's employees are paid hourly, and earn $22.50 an hour, on average, with access to health insurance benefits for which the company pays 90 percent of annual costs. (AP)
Costco reported quarterly results posting $32.36 billion in sales and membership revenue in the period a 12.1 percent increase.  Profits jumped 7 percent to $750 million. (Yahoo)

De Beers will open a $94 million lab-grown diamond plant in Gresham. Lightbox Jewelry, will sell the Oregon-grown diamonds for between $200 and $800. The full $94 million investment will be made over the next four years. (PBJ)

Apple has hired about 12 people in a hardware engineering lab in Washington County. (Oregon Live)

Bayer, the German drugmaker will retire Monsanto's name as it finishes the $63 billion takeover of the U.S. seeds maker. (CNBC)

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



It's jobs report Friday: the next snapshot of the U.S. economy is likely to show another 189,000 jobs added in May, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.9% and average earnings expected to have risen 2.7% on an annualized basis. The nonfarm payrolls report will also cement expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates again in June, but chances for a fourth rate hike this year have dimmed to 27%, according to CME Group, down from around 50% last week. (SA)

Besides retaliatory tariffs from the European Union, the U.S. is facing "counter-balancing measures" from its northern and southern neighbors after imposing duties on steel and aluminum. Canada's levies will cover C$16.6B in imports, including whiskey, orange juice and other food products, alongside metal tariffs. Mexico's reciprocal measures will also target steel, as well as pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses. (SA)

A round trip over in Italy - marking a dramatic recovery from a rout on Tuesday ignited by the specter of fresh elections and months of uncertainty.  The ugly drop has now almost entirely reversed.  The week's economic turmoil was driven by fractious politics, which appeared to be drawing to a close on Friday morning after a new Italian coalition government was agreed, although the new government still faces a confidence vote in parliament. (FT)



U.S. stocks rose sharply yesterday, rebounding from the previous day’s rout, as energy shares bounced back amid a rally for oil prices and worries over Italy’s political crisis faded.

The U.S. added 178,000 private-sector jobs in May,  ADP said Wednesday. April’s figure, meanwhile, was revised downward by 41,000 to 163,000, and March’s level was downwardly revised as well.  Hiring was spread across industries and company size. Medium-sized businesses — those with 50 to 499 employees — added 84,000 jobs, while large businesses added 56,000 positions and small ones added 38,000 employees.

The U.S. grew economy grew a touch softer in the first quarter than originally reported, mainly because of a slower buildup in inventories. Gross domestic product was trimmed to an annual 2.2% pace from 2.3%.

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book came out and the Fed said the U.S. grew “moderately” from late April to early May in their latest evaluation of the economy, indicating the central bank remains firmly on track to raise interest rates next month. Although companies have responded to chronic shortages of skilled workers by boosting pay and overall compensation, the Fed found that “wage increases remained modest” in most of the country.



Political turmoil is pushing Italian yields higher, but not signaling broader crisis. Italian yields have spiked in recent days, with the 2-year yield moving from 0.46% on Friday May 25, to 2.2% currently; this after it was actually negative (-0.08%) two weeks ago. It is important to note however, that yields in Germany and France actually moved lower on this news. The fact that markets are using core European countries as a safe haven may indicate that they believe the issue is in Italy itself, and investors aren't concerned about the potential for broader contagion in the Eurozone at this point. (LPL)

The Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond Index has outperformed the broader Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Index year to date (-0.9% vs -2.2%) and since the beginning of 2017 (4.5% vs 1.2%). (LPL)

Microsoft is up 40% over the last 12 months and is now worth $749 billion and is the world's third most valuable company behind Apple and Amazon. (CNBC)

Dick's Sporting Goods beat forecasts by 7 cents a share, with adjusted quarterly profit of 52 cents per share. Revenue also came in above forecasts. Comparable-store sales fell more than expected, but Dick's also raised its full-year outlook largely above Street's forecast. (AP)

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



Stocks are sharply lower with much of the unrest coming out of Europe amid uncertainty over Italy's political direction. The euro is at 6-1/2 month lows. (CNBC)

Durable-goods orders fell 1.7% April, mostly from a decline in contracts for planes. Orders minus transportation rose 0.9%. (AP)

Oil below $70/barrel on supply concerns. U.S. benchmark crude prices was down nearly 3% last Friday as traders digested reports that OPEC, Russia, and others are in discussions to potentially increase production by up to 1 million barrels/day. The news comes on the heels of an announcement from the International Energy Agency last week that the supply glut is gone and the run-up in oil prices is starting to impact consumer demand. (LPL)

According to Reuters, Qualcomm will meet with Chinese regulators in Beijing this week, as it seeks to get final clearance for its $44 billion deal to acquire NXP Semiconductors. (CNBC)

Coca-Cola is selling its first alcoholic product called Lemon-Do to consumers of Japan. The lemon-flavored drink will be available with 3%, 5% and 7% alcohol. (Fortune)

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



More trade ups and downs. President Trump ordered an investigation into whether auto and truck imports weaken the U.S. economy and threaten national security, which sparked a response from a Chinese official suggesting the move represented an abuse of trade rules. Though likely another part of the administration's negotiation strategy, it may lead to new tariffs on foreign cars. (LPL)

 

The U.S. economy is still chugging along. The Markit Purchasing Managers' Index showed both the U.S. services and manufacturing sectors continued to expand last month. Manufacturing activity registered its highest reading since September 2014, with manufacturers intending to boost production in the near term. Backlogs of work on the services side hit levels not seen since March 2015, though new business ticked modestly lower. Input costs in both sectors rose at the fastest pace in almost five years as inflationary pressures continue to mount, but overall the data remain solidly in expansionary territory year. (LPL)

 

Ross Stores beat estimates by 3 cents with quarterly profit of $1.10 per share, with the discount retailer's revenue in line with forecasts. (CNBC)

 

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio.

S&P 500 is down 6 and the NASDAQ is down 1. The MSCI international index is lower.

Oil is down $1.61 at $69.10 a barrel.

Gold is down $1 at $1304 a Troy ounce.

 

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

 

 



Is Turkey a canary in the coal mine? Turkey's currency, the lira, has lost over 20% versus the dollar since the start of the year and dropped as much as 5% overnight on Tuesday, as market participants' worries about the state of Turkey's economy rose. (LPL)

 

Uber announced its first-quarter financials, reporting strong sales growth. Uber plans to sell between $400 million and $600 million in stock at $40 per share to investors. (CNBC)

 

Best Buy's same store sales rose 7.1% in the first quarter.

Domestic online comparable sales growth was 12% in the U.S.. Best Buy has about 15% of the U.S. consumer electronics market. (Reuters)

 

Hormel Foods, makers of Spam canned ham, Dinty Moore stew and other foods, reported quarterly earnings of $237.4 million. Revenue was $2.33 billion in the period. Hormel shares have dropped almost 2% since the beginning of the year. (AP)

 

Procter & Gamble says it will continue investing in Russian plants in the coming years, despite increasing risks due to deteriorating U.S.-Russian relations. (AP)

 

S&P 500 is down 6 and the NASDAQ is down 7. The MSCI international index is lower.

Oil is down 91 cents at $71.00 a barrel.

Gold is up $7 at $1296 a Troy ounce.



The 10-year Treasury yield again broached the 3% level last week, and unlike previous instances, it managed to stay above that level for the entire week, indicating Treasuries may have moved into a new range. (LPL)

The Russell 2000 closed at yet another new all-time high this week. For the year, there have been 14 new highs for the Russell 2000 and 14 for the S&P 500 Index. The Russell 2000 is up 6.6% for the year, versus a 2.2% gain for the S&P 500. Sparking the strength in small caps has been a better economy, tax reform, fear over trade tariffs, and a stronger U.S. dollar. (LPL)

Marvin Ellison, J.C. Penney chairman and CEO is leaving the retailer to become CEO at Lowe's. Prior to J.C. Penney, Ellison worked more than 12 years at Home Depot. (CNBC)

Is the next U.S. recession just around the corner? In a survey of 100 economists and real estate experts sponsored by Zillow nearly half expect the next recession to begin sometime in 2020. (AP)

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers earned 69 cents per share last quarter. Revenue was also short of estimates. Same store sales dropped 0.9%. (CNBC)

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



Yesterday the S&P 500 gained 0.7% closing at 2,733 as industrials jumped 1.5%. The Nasdaq climbed 0.5% to 7,394.

Over the last week, forward-four-quarter estimates for the S&P 500 Index rose 0.6%. With 464 S&P companies having reported, first quarter S&P 500 earnings are tracking to a 26.2% year-over-year increase, while 79% of companies have exceeded earnings targets. (LPL)

The U.S. dollar has come back strongly over the past several months. After losing nearly 10% in 2017 and an additional 4% in January, the U.S. Dollar Index has rallied more than 5% off its February lows. Gains have been driven by several factors, particularly rising U.S. interest rates, partially due to increasing Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike expectations, and repatriation of overseas profits as prescribed by the new U.S. tax law. (LPL)

Hasbro, the maker of the iconic Play-Doh has successfully trademarked that musky, sweet vanilla scent of childhood.
Few tweaks have been made to Play-Doh's recipe since its inception in 1956, and its scent has always been one of its main differentiation from other clay competitors.(CNBC)

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



Wells Fargo employees improperly altered customer documents trying to comply with a regulatory consent order over anti-money laundering controls. (Wall Street Journal)

A slow walk to the gallows? J.C. Penney reported first quarter results. Revenue fell about 4.3% to $2.58 billion. Same-store sales rose 0.2% but were short of analysts' forecast of 2% growth. Penney's lost $78 million, or 25 cents per share. (Reuters)

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index gained 0.4% to 109.4 in April and has climbed for the last six months. The index measures 10 key metrics of economic movement and projects US economic conditions for the next 6 to 12 months.

General Electric has made a deal to merge its transportation business with rail industry equipment maker Wabtec (Reuters).

Microsoft has bought Semantic Machines, an artificial intelligence start-up. The company did not disclose any financial details of the acquisition. (CNBC)

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



New applications for unemployment benefits were reported at 222,000 this week. Claims remain near 40-year lows. (LPL)

Japan's streak of positive GDP growth quarters comes to an end. After eight straight quarters of growth, the longest streak in nearly 30 years, Japan's gross domestic product contracted in the first quarter. (LPL)

According to the Centers for Disease Control US births hit lowest number since 1987: American women are having children at the lowest rate on record, with the number of babies born in the U.S. last year dropping to a 30-year low. 3.85 million babies were born last year, down 2% from 2016.

Argentina's currency stabilized as their central bank declined to support the peso, which has plunged about 16% this month. Argentina is seeking a loan from the IMF and is the Greece of Latin America. (Reuters)

Nordstrom had quarterly profits of 51 cents per share beating estimates by 8 cents. They also beat on sales. But same store sales growth was disappointing. The stock was sinking in early trading. (CNBC)

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



The Commerce Department says housing starts dropped 3.7% in April. Building permits fell 1.8%.

The Federal Reserve said U.S. factory output rose in April by 0.7%. Manufacturing output rose 0.5%. A 2.3% increase in machinery production bolstered the overall gain in factory output. In the last year industrial output is up 3.5%. Industrial capacity in use rose 78%.

Economic growth forecasts tracking above 3%. With half of the second quarter now in the rearview, consensus forecasts are tracking to 3.1% gross domestic product growth for this quarter, while forecasts from the Atlanta and New York Federal Reserve Bank's show 4.1% and 3.1%, respectively. With economic surprises, on average, being to the upside, second quarter growth exceeding 3.0% would represent a very solid quarter and push full-year growth nearer to the 2.75-3.0% range. (LPL)

Jack In The Box had profits of 80 cents per share falling 6 cents short of estimates. The burger joints sales also missed. (Yahoo)

Microsoft has a new Xbox controller with customizable features for disabled gamers. It's set to launch later this year. (CNBC)

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



The yield on the 10-year Treasury note hit its highest level since 2011 and the two-year yield hit its highest mark since 2008 on Tuesday. The 10-year hit 3.07% and the two-year yield hit a high of 2.59%. (AP)

The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 0.3% last month after jumping 0.8% in March. Retail sales have increased 4.7% from a year ago. Consumer spending, accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. In April, auto sales edged up 0.1%, receipts at service stations jumped 0.8% and sales at restaurants and bars fell 0.3%. (Reuters)

The average mortgage contract rate on the 30-year fixed ended Tuesday at 4.88% for the highest creditworthy borrowers and 5% for the average borrower, the highest level in seven years. (CNBC)

Macy's reported first quarter profits of 48 cents per share on revenue of $5.5 billion. Same-store sales increased 4.2%. Shares are up about 13% in early trading. (AP)

Yum Brands owned Pizza Hut will become the largest pizza chain in Latin America and the Caribbean, after signing a franchise agreement with Spain's Telepizza Group. (CNBC)

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



An outstanding first quarter earnings season is winding down. With 455 S&P 500 Index companies having reported first quarter 2018 results, earnings are tracking to a 26% year-over-year increase. The new tax law is giving earnings a big lift. Revenue has also been strong, tracking to an 8.2% year-over-year increase. (LPL)

Oil prices are likely to stabilize. Oil prices have been pushing higher in the wake of the U.S. withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, but prices are likely to stabilize as oil markets absorb the news. Impacts of the U.S. sanctions is 200,000 to 1 million barrels a day, but U.S. producers should be able to make up much of the gap. Consumers bear the brunt of higher oil prices, especially those on the lower end of the income spectrum who spend a larger percentage of their income on fuel, but the impact of price changes thus far are small compared to the benefits of the new tax law. (LPL)

Alaska Airlines will close its New York base and reinforce its West Coast fleet. They are asking more than 100 pilots to relocate to California. Alaska currently operates five flights a day from JFK to both LAX and SFO. (CNBC)

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



NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends Survey saw the 17th consecutive month of historically high readings in April. Never in the history of this survey have we seen profit trends so high. The optimism small businesses owners have about the economy is turning into new job creation, increased wages and benefits, and investment.

Congressional Quarterly reported the US Department of Agriculture proposed a rule which would mandate labeling of foods that “contain genetically modified crops or ingredients.”

Ford plans to resume production of the F-150 pickup truck on Friday. F-150 plants stopped production last week because of parts shortages caused by a fire at a factory of a key supplier. (CNBC)

Xerox has dumped its planned $6.1 billion deal with Japan's Fujifilm. Fujifilm said it was considering its options, including legal action to seek damages. (Reuters)

Walmart may take India-based e-commerce company Flipkart public in four years. Walmart announced last week it would pay $16 billion for a 77% stake in Flipkart. (CNBC)

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



Stocks were higher yesterday, and Apple hit a record high, as tepid inflation data eased worries of faster interest rate hikes this year.  

The U.S. Labor Department's consumer price index increased 0.2 percent in April, less than economists' expectations, as rising costs for gasoline and rental accommodation were tempered by a moderation in healthcare prices.
Core CPI, which excludes food and energy components, edged up 0.1 percent in April, slower than the previous two months, and did little to alter traders' expectations of a June rate hike.

So far, 444 S&P 500 companies have posted earnings and those companies are showing profit growth of 24.5% from the same period a year ago and 9.3% growth in revenues. Almost 78% of those companies beat per-share earnings-per-share estimates, while 75% beat revenue estimates.

On the eve of Mother’s Day weekend, Americans are expected to spend $23 Billion on Mom this weekend or $180 apiece.  It turns out that Mom doesn’t want the Brunch or the present.  What she really wants is to be left alone according to a survey on the website Moneyish.



U.S. stocks traded higher yesterday, led by sharp rallies in energy, financials and industrials sectors.  Energy stocks were boosted by President Donald Trump’s decision a day earlier to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and resume sanctions against the oil-producing nation.

Shares of Walmart fell 2.9% after the retail giant said it was taking control of India’s largest e-commerce company, Flipkart Group, for $16 billion, as the Bentonville, Ark.-based company tries to fend off Amazon at home and abroad.

Oil prices and the U.S. dollar are rallying in tandem—a dynamic that has only occurred 11 times since 1983, and it’s drawing the attention of market participants because it’s not supposed to happen. The coordinated run-up is rare because a stronger dollar makes commodities priced in the currency more expensive to users of other currencies. So a stronger dollar tends to be a headwind for commodity prices.

Shares solar companies jumped nearly 6% Wednesday on news that California regulators approved new building standards that will require new homes built in the state to have solar panels starting in 2020, the first state to do so.



U.S. stocks ended flat yesterday, in rocky trading, after President Donald Trump, as expected, said he is removing the U.S. from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Shares of Disney traded higher after the company stronger-than-expected profit and sales yesterday afternoon, with the biggest beat coming from the company's movie-studio arm after the huge success of "Black Panther." Disney reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $2.94 billion, or $1.95 a share, on sales of $14.55 billion, up from $13.34 billion a year ago. After adjustments for comparability to previous quarters, Disney claimed earnings of $1.84 a share, up from $1.50 a year ago.

The big pickup in job openings has done what’s not been accomplished in the nearly two-decades — there’s now a job opening for every unemployed worker.
According to the latest data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there were 6.55 million job openings in March. In March, there were 6.59 million unemployed, meaning there are 1.01 unemployed workers for every job.  During the financial crisis there were 6.7 unemployed people for every job opening.

The 2 year Treasury note now yields 2.513% marking it’s highest yield in 10 years and flattens the yield curve even more as the long end of the curve remained unchanged.
 



Earnings season has been a success by virtually any measure, with an impressive upside surprise, very strong growth, and positive guidance overall. With 409 S&P 500 companies having reported, S&P 500 earnings for the first quarter are tracking to a nearly 26% year-over-year increase. The revenue picture is similarly positive producing an 8.4% annual increase. The earnings parade slows down this week with just 44 S&P 500 companies slated to report. (LPL)

The current economic expansion has reached 107 months, topping the 106-month expansion from the 1960s to make it the second longest since World War II. Only the 120-month expansion during the 1990s was longer. (LPL)

Oil tops $70/barrel. The potential for reinstatement of Iran sanctions pushed WTI crude over $70 for the first time since November 2014. Venezuelan production disruptions and Saudi Arabia's stated preference for an $80 price per barrel, on top of strong global demand and an easing inventory glut, have pushed U.S. oil to fresh multi-year highs despite recent strength in the U.S. dollar. (LPL)

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



The U.S. economy created 164,000 jobs in March. The overall employment level ticked higher as the labor force participation rate fell to 62.8%, pushing the unemployment rate to an 18-year low of 3.9%. Wages grew 0.1% month over month in April, slightly below expectations of 0.2% growth, to put year-over-year wage growth at 2.6%. (LPL)

The Institute for Supply Management's Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 56.8 in April, a decline from March's 58.8. Nevertheless, some of the background data showed potential for continued strength. The new orders subindex, which tends to lead future activity, climbed to 60. Service sector expansion remains healthy following a very strong first quarter and the data remain consistent with steady growth. (LPL)

Nestle will pay Starbucks $7.15 billion for the rights to sell their products around the world. Nestle is taking on about 500 Starbucks employees as part of the deal. (Reuters)

Problems continue for Wells Fargo as they settled a class action securities fraud lawsuit with shareholders for $480 million, in a case stemming from "misstatements and omissions" regarding its sales practices. (CNBC)

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



Proving it isn’t over till the fat lady sings, the Dow Jones industrial average erased a nearly 400-point loss yesterday snapping a four-day losing streak. The S&P 500 closed down 0.23% after dropping as much as 1.6%. The Nasdaq fell 0.18% after dropping more than 1%. (CNBC)

The Department of Labor says the US economy added 164,000 jobs in March.  The private sector added 168,000 of those jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9%.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit slid to $49 billion, down from $57.7 billion in February and lowest since September. Exports rose in March to a record $208.5 billion, led by shipments of civilian aircraft and soybeans. Imports slipped 1.8% to $257.5 billion. The trade gap is up 18.5% to $163.4 billion so far this year.

Worker productivity increased in the first quarter at a 0.7% annualized rate. Unit labor costs, the price of labor per single unit of output, rose at a 2.7% pace in the first quarter. (AP)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when Tyler and I will both be back in the “Truth in Wealth Building” saddle.

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



Wednesday’s sell-off left the Dow Jones in correction territory with losses in 9 of the past 11 sessions. The Nasdaq has declined 7 of the past 10 days, with the S&P 500 down in two of the past three days. (CNBC)

Fired Nike executive David Reichert has pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud.  He defrauded Nike of more than $550,000. Prosecutors will ask that he serve 1 ½ years in prison and pay $400,000 in restitution. (OregonLive)

Eurozone April Manufacturing PMI came in at 56.2, the lowest it has been since March 2017. A strong euro, flu season, and weather were all named as potential reasons for the weaker data. Turning to China, their Manufacturing PMI was 51.1 last month, better than expected. (LPL)

Private companies added 204,000 jobs in April, according to the ADP jobs report. Service-related industries created 160,000 jobs while goods producers added 44,000, including 27,000 in construction.

Ahead of tomorrows big job report, LinkedIn Workforce Report says hiring jumped 19.8% percent in April. The report noted that employers report a need of people with marketing skills. (CNBC)

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



Sell in May and go away? Since 1950, S&P 500 performance May through October, the worst 6 months, is up 1.5% on average and higher 63.2% of time. (LPL)

Deschutes Brewery CEO Michael LaLonde recently told the Bend Bulletin, “I believe cannabis has affected (beer) sales ….. (as cannabis users) don’t consume as much alcohol.” Deschutes saw its first sales decline ever in 2017.

Texas oil production jumped to 4.01 million barrels a day in February, up almost 21% from a year earlier, according to the Energy Information Administration, the highest since 1981. That helped push total U.S. crude output in February up 2.6% to a new record of 10.3 million bpd.

The ISM says its index of national factory activity dropped to a reading of 57.3 last month from 59.3 in March. A reading above 50 indicates growth in manufacturing, which accounts for about 12% of the U.S. economy. (CNBC)

You know I love my treats, so good news for us Oreo fans. The parent company Mondelez will begin rolling out three limited-edition flavors, cherry cola, kettle corn and pina colada. (USA Today)

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



Google has invested $10.5 billion building data centers across the country since 2006. Google opened its third data center in The Dalles, Oregon in February and now employs 200 there. The Dalles received about $937,000 in electricity franchise fees in 2017. (OregonLive)

The Fed begins a two-day policy meeting this morning, with an interest rate decision and policy statement set for tomorrow at 11 PST. No rate hike is expected this time, and there's no post-meeting news conference. (CNBC)

The Commerce Department reported consumer prices jumped 2.0% year-on-year in March. That was the biggest gain since February 2017.

The Commerce Department's also reported consumer spending increased 0.4% in March. Consumer spending grew at a 1.1% annualized rate. The slowest in nearly five years.

Wages gained 0.2% in March. Savings fell in March, as the saving rate slipped to 3.1%.

With 267 S&P 500 Index companies having reported earnings for the quarter are tracking to a 24.6% year-over-year increase.

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



The U.S. economy grew at 2.3% in the first quarter, better than the consensus estimate of 2.0% but a slowdown from the near 3% growth of the prior three quarters. Persistent problems with seasonal adjustment of first quarter data and a lull in consumer activity weighed on first quarter growth. We expect U.S. growth to accelerate over the rest of the year as these temporary factors roll off, with a strong job market, fiscal stimulus, and consumer and business spending providing potential support for global demand. (LPL)

First quarter inflation data was as expected. The core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) reading for March of +2.5% was in line with consensus forecasts and up from +1.9% in the fourth quarter. Another inflation measure the Fed follows, the Employment Cost Index, rose 0.8% quarter over quarter. Private sector wages and salaries rose 2.9% year over year, the most of the expansion and following a 2.8% increase in the previous quarter. (LPL)

Wells Fargo is facing another Labor Department investigation of its retirement plan services unit. The review centers on whether the bank has been pushing participants in low cost 401(k) plans to roll holdings into more expensive IRAs at the bank. (WSJ)

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



The Commerce Department says orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 2.6% overall in March, but spending that tracks business investment spending fell for the third month out of the past four.

First quarter earnings results have been excellent so far, with about 30% of S&P 500 companies having reported. Earnings are tracking to a 22% year-over-year increase, well above the 18.5% increase expected. Revenue growth is tracking to a solid 7.7% year-over-year increase. (LPL)

International developed equities have outperformed slightly year to date. The weak dollar explains virtually all of the outperformance vs. the S&P 500. Still, international diversification has generally helped buoy portfolios this year, which has not been the case in recent years and is encouraging. (LPL)

Intel, Oregon’s largest employer, reported first-quarter net income of $4.45 billion. The world's largest chipmaker posted revenue of $16.07 billion. Intel shares have climbed 15% since the beginning of the year. (AP)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when Josh and I will tell you how to navigate the choppy waters of the markets.

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



The Leading Economic Index (LEI) jumped 0.3% in March, after being up 0.7% in February and 0.8% in January. This index shows a picture of future economic health. This shows little reason to expect a recession over the next 12 months. Year over year, this index is up +6.2%, well above the negative year-over-year signal that has preceded every recession going back to the early 1970s.

Portland’s ESCO Corp has sold to the Scottish Weir Group for $1.29 billion. ESCO makes equipment for surface mining and construction. Weir said the deal will improve its presence in those markets. The privately held ESCO employs about 3,000 people, including 350 in Portland. ESCO's sales totaled $632 million last year. ESCO has 10 factories, six foundries and 22 service centers in 19 different countries. (OregonLive)

The craft beer market may have reached maturity. Bend's Deschutes Brewery has announced that it would delay, and possibly scale back development of its east coast brewery in Roanoke, Virginia. In explaining the decision, Deschutes pointed to a dip in sales last year, following a softening beer market generally. (EagerLaw)

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



Comcast has formalized its offer for British broadcaster Sky, along with commitments to maintain its annual budget and editorial board independence, in a deal valued at about $31B. Comcast said the "superior" cash bid was a 16% premium to the existing offer from Twenty-First Century Fox which has also been trying to buy the 61% of Sky that it doesn't already own (WSJ).

How does your bonus stack up? Google CEO Sundar Pichai was awarded 353,939 restricted shares before being promoted in 2014, those vest today. Currently worth about $380M, it's one of the largest single payouts to a public company executive in recent years. Alphabet's stock has surged 90% since the grant date, compared with a 39% advance of the S&P 500. (SA)

Boeing increased full-year earnings guidance citing a positive market outlook across its defense and aerospace businesses, after reporting first-quarter results well above market expectations. Defense contractor Northrup Grumman similarly reported a strong start to the year, as it benefited from the push by the US government to upgrade its military hardware and modernize its IT platforms.  Facebook is also slated to report later today in one of the most anticipated earnings calls of the year (FT)

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



We're in the thick of earnings season, and it's been very strong so far- Robust demand for construction equipment in North America along with the recent upswing in oil prices helped Caterpillar bulldoze past Wall Street's sales and profits expectations for the first quarter this morning.  Similar news from United Technologies, which makes everything from airplane engines to elevators, first quarter sales of $15.2bn were up 10 per cent over the prior year, comfortably exceeding market expectations.  Even more of a surprise, Coca-Cola reported better than forecasted sales and profits in the first quarter, as the fizzy drinks maker cuts prices and adapts its portfolio away from soda to stoke growth. (FT)

Speaking of earnings, this quarter stocks have been unusually non-reactive to earnings reports:  Companies that reported stronger-than-expected earnings have seen their shares on average rise by just 1/10 of a % two days before the earnings release through two days after, well below the five-year average increase of 1.1%. (WSJ)

A Silicon Valley company bought Portland-based Viewpoint Construction Software for $1.2 billion in cash yesterday. It appears to be the biggest deal ever for a Portland tech company.  The buyer is Trimble, which makes technology for the construction, agriculture and transportation markets. The California company reported revenue of $2.7 billion last year and said it expects about $200 million in additional revenue from the Viewpoint acquisition in 2018 (Oregonian).  

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil is down 41 cents at $66.41 a barrel.

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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


 



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

 



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

 



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

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

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

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

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

 



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Oil is down 46 cents at $61.58 a barrel.

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



 



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

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

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

 

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

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

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


 

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

 

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

 



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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