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Stocks struggled for direction yesterday vacillating wildly with investors trying to digest a slew of mixed economic reports, earnings reports, and some good news on trade negotiation between the US and China.

 
The US Census Bureau said that retail sales sank 1.2% in December, the largest drop since September 2009, a few months after the end of the Great Recession.  Economists had expected sales to be flat.  Retailers faced plenty of headwinds in December, including a stock-market meltdown, sudden talk of recession, the start of the partial government shutdown and a bout of unusually poor weather.
 
Shares of the Hillsboro based Lattice Semiconductor jumped nearly 30 percent after the company issued a strong outlook for the coming year. Its shares are now at their highest point since 2004.  One of the few publicly traded tech companies still headquartered in Oregon, Lattice makes programmable computer chips used in cameras, phones, telecommunications equipment and other applications.


The IRS released data yesterday showing that the average refund size for the first 12 days of this year’s tax-filing season was smaller than it was during a similar period last year.  The average refund size through Feb. 8 was $1,949, which was 8.7 percent smaller than the same period last year. Some taxpayers that had gotten refunds in the past owe taxes this year.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I'm Tyler Simones



U.S. stocks extended gains yesterday, with the Nasdaq on track to exit bear market territory, after President Donald Trump said he may let a China trade-deal deadline “slide” if the two sides were making enough progress in their meeting this week in Beijing.

 

The cost of consumer goods and services were unchanged in January largely thanks to falling gas prices, another sign inflation poses little threat to the economy right now.  The government said that the consumer price index was flat last month.  What’s more, the increase in the cost of living over the past 12 months slowed to 1.6% from 1.9%.  Waning inflation has persuaded the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates for the time being amid fresh worries about the economy’s future.

 

The U.S. national debt topped a record $22 trillion this week, less than a year after it crossed the $21 trillion mark, indicating a further deterioration in the nation’s finances.  The Peterson Foundation said the U.S. national debt has risen by $1 trillion in the past 11 months, calling it “the latest sign that our fiscal situation is not only unsustainable, but accelerating.”

 

The Wilsonville-based Flir Systems is moving aggressively into robotic military equipment, paying $385 million for Endeavor Robotic Holdings.  Monday’s deal follows Flir’s purchase last month of  aerial drone company Aeryon Labs for $200 million.  Flir, best known for night-vision equipment, enjoyed booming sales early this century as the United States fought wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As the wars ebbed, though, military spending declined and Flir sought to find civilian applications for its technology.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I'm Tyler Simones



U.S. stock indexes closed at their highest levels in 2019 yesterday after lawmakers reached a tentative deal to prevent a government shutdown and as optimism grew over a potential trade deal between the U.S. and China.

 

The number of job openings in the U.S. surged at the end of 2018 to an all-time high, reflecting the resilience of an economy that keeps growing despite rising headwinds at home and abroad.  Job openings climbed to 7.34 million, an all-time record, in December from 7.17 million in the prior month.

 

The January small-business optimism index of the National Federation of Independent Business fell 3.2 points to a seasonally adjusted reading of 101.2, the worst reading since the election in Nov. 2016. The expectations components fell particularly sharply, with a 10-percentage point decline in those expecting the economy to improve. "Overall, the January data reveal a solid small business sector that has some increased concern about how uncertainties may resolve themselves later in the year.

 

The Oregon Senate voted 17-11 Tuesday to make Oregon the first state in the nation to adopt statewide rent control and make it harder for landlords to evict tenants without a reason.  Under Senate Bill 608, landlords across the state could raise rent no more than 7 percent per year, plus the annual change in the consumer price index. The bill carves out an exemption for rental properties that are less than 15 years old.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I'm Tyler Simones



Stocks struggled to find direction yesterday with investors focused on US/China trade negotiations kicking off this week in Beijing.  If a deal isn’t worked out ahead of the March 1st deadline tariffs on Chinese goods will increase to 25%.
 
For the first time ever, consumer credit has risen above $4 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.  With low unemployment and steady income growth, consumers have been tapping into credit lines. Before any alarm bells are sounded though, it is important to note that overall consumer credit growth has been on a downward trend.
 
So far in 2019, the 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage has averaged 4.46%, down from the 4.54% average in 2018.  Mortgage rates track the bond market which has seen yields fall over concerns over a global growth slowdown.
 
With more seniors than ever aging in place and choosing not to sell the family home, an estimated 1.6 million fewer properties are now available in a market already experiencing a critical shortage, according to Freddie Mac.  That stay-put trend is crashing into the rising demand for housing from the huge millennial generation: fewer homes for sale will continue to put upward pressure on already overheated home prices.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I'm Tyler Simones



US Stocks finished mostly unchanged last week with earnings season coming to an end, investors are now focused on trade negotiations between the US and China.  Investors are also focused on Washington and the looming second government shutdown possibly starting on Friday.
 
You can thank falling inflation for the 5 week rally in the stock market.  The Federal Reserve did an about-face last month after they raised rates in December.  The decline in inflation gave the Fed the cushion to leave rates unchanged with the consumer price index at it's lowest level since the summer of 2016.  There is now a 50/50 chance that the Fed actually cuts rates sometime in 2019.
 
The first tax-filing season under the new tax law has gotten off to a slow start with filers seeing smaller average refunds, according to the IRS.  16 million returns have been filed so far with the average refund down 8% to $1,865.
 
And a coalition of more than 150 Oregon farmers, retailers, and other businesses have calculated that Oregon businesses paid $84 million in added tariffs since last October.  Oregon companies also felt the burden of retaliatory tariffs on their finished goods sent to China.

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I'm Tyler Simones



A few details on productivity. The U.S. Labor Department released a few details from its fourth-quarter report on worker productivity. Manufacturing productivity increased 1.3% in the fourth quarter (higher than 1.1% third-quarter growth), while third-quarter nonfarm productivity growth was revised down to 2.2% (from the 2.3% initially reported). (LPL)

 

If you turned age 70 ½ sometime in 2018, then you must begin taking annual withdrawals from your IRA accounts no later than 4/01/19. If you delay your 1st withdrawal until then, you must also take a 2nd distribution by 12/31/19. The penalty for not taking a required minimum distribution is a penalty of 50%, plus tax on any amounts that were not withdrawn on time (Internal Revenue Service).

 

2.8 million Americans died in 2018. 4,000of those individuals, 1 in every 700 deaths, died with an estate worth more $11.2 million, the maximum dollar amount that can be passed estate tax-free. (Policy Center).

 

27% of Millennials spend more money on coffee than what they set aside and invest monthly for their eventual retirement. (Lendedu.com).

 

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



According to the Mortgage Bankers Association total mortgage application volume fell 2.5 percent last week. Volume was nearly 10 percent lower than a year ago. Purchase applications fell 5 percent for the week and 2 percent annually. Applications to refinance a home loan increased 0.3 from the previous week but were 19 percent lower than a year ago. 

The U.S. Treasury Secretary and the chief trade negotiator are heading to Beijing early next week to further trade talks ahead of the March 1 deadline. While an accord by the end of the month is highly unlikely, an extension to the tariff-truce that began Dec. 1 is. (LPL) 

 

5-day winning streak. U.S. stocks have shown impressive strength so far this year. The S&P 500 Index just capped its best January in over 30 years, and kicked off February with a 5-day winning streak. (LPL)

 

Bear market recoveries. U.S. stocks are recovering from the worst slide in seven years, and the S&P 500 has now gone 93 days without a new record high. While it's been a tough waiting game for investors, history shows recoveries from intraday bear markets (what we saw late last year) take time. (LPL)

 

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



According to the IDC worldwide smart phone volumes declined 4.1% last year to a total of 1.4 billion units shipped.

According to the Institute of Supply Management, its index on manufacturing increased 2.3% in January month over month.

 

BP's annual profit doubled in 2018 to $12.7 billion, driven by a significant increase in oil and gas output, and the acquisition of the U.S. shale assets from BHP Group. (CNBC)  

 

If you are in Oregon landlord take note. This week an Oregon Senate committee passed Senate Bill 608. The bill would limit will rent increases at 7% above the cost-of-living. It would also ban no cause evictions. (Oregonian)

 

Wage inflation is a key indicator we're watching. Last Friday's nonfarm payrolls data showed that hourly earnings rose 3.2% year over year in January, and it has been trending higher over the past year. History shows that average wage growth has topped 4% ahead of recessions. (LPL)

 

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



Stocks had a great January! The S&P 500 and Dow posted their best January since 1987 and 1989, respectively. Cyclical sectors (communication services, industrials, energy) lead, while defensives (healthcare, utilities) lagged. The good news is that when the S&P 500 gains at least 7% in January, there can be continued follow through, with the final 11 months of the year gaining 11% on average and up five out of six times going back to 1950. (LPL)
 
Earnings season nearing the halfway mark. With 46% of S&P 500 Index companies having reported, fourth quarter earnings growth is tracking to a 15.5% year-over-year increase. Upside has been driven by the energy and industrials sectors, while results for financials and technology have come up short thus far. This week is another busy one with 97 S&P 500 companies slated to report fourth quarter results. (LPL)
 
Vancouver Washington was picked ahead of Seattle and Portland to build the next generation of Army landing craft. Vigor Industrial will create 300 new jobs at the facility. The Army contract is valued at $1 billion. (Oregonian)
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The S&P 500 and NASDAQ both posted the best January in 30 years. We start a new month today. (CNBC) 
 
Euro-area gross domestic product (GDP) rose just 0.2% during the fourth quarter, or 1.2% year over year, with Italy falling into recession and Germany, coming very close. Though in line with economists' consensus expectations, tepid GDP growth to end 2018 and soft January data suggests the European Central Bank's GDP growth forecast for 2019 of 1.7% is a reach. 
 
China's manufacturing sector shrank in January for the second straight month. The official China Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 49.5. The better news came from the services sector, where the 54.7 reading for January is solidly expansionary.
 
Slow start to earnings season. Earnings growth for the S&P 500 Index is tracking to 14.5%. Estimates for 2019 have fallen by 2% so far, in line with historical averages, and should end the season in the 5% range. 
 
Chicagoans were seeking comfort food amid the freezing weather. Orders for deep-dish pizza in Chicago more than doubled during the polar vortex, which has blasted the Midwest with -66 degree wind chills. (Marketwatch) 
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



The Congressional Budget Office estimates the economic impact to be ~$5 billion, while S&P pegs the number closer to $10 billion; however, given the U.S. economy is ~$20 trillion, the overall economic impact of the recent shutdown is expected to take ~0.1-0.2% off annualized gross domestic product. So while the longest government shutdown on record has meaningfully impacted furloughed government workers and their families, the overall impact to the economy borders on negligible. (LPL)

 

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says consumer spending and business optimism are strong despite the shutdown and disruption in the global economy. He said, “based on experts and consumer activity, it looks like a solid year for the US, though less growth than last year.” (Reuters)

 

Microsoft reported a quarterly profit of $1.10 per share. Revenue did fall slightly short of forecasts. (CNBC) 

 

In their quest to capture the coveted millennial consumer and their quirky tastes, Coca-Cola is introducing some new flavors. The newest Diet Coke flavors will be strawberry guava and blueberry acai. They join four flavors added last January which were ginger lime feisty cherry, zesty blood orange and twisted mango.

 

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



We’re into the thick of earnings; Apple kicked off big tech earnings beating downwardly revised expectations yesterday, but more are on the docket. Facebook and Microsoft are scheduled to report results today, and Amazon will disclose its quarterly figures on Thursday. Tech stocks helped propel the stock market to record highs last year, but have recently slumped because of slower global demand, rising trade tensions and concerns about stricter regulation. (SA)

 

Boeing reported record revenues of more than $100bn for the full year on strong demand as the blue-chip plane maker’s quarterly results easily beat Wall Street expectations.  The Chicago-based group, delivered 806 jets, reported revenues of $101.1bn for the year to the end of December, with core earnings per share of $16.01. Record commercial deliveries and higher defense volumes helped drive performance. (FT)

 

Similarly positive results over at McDonald’s, as chief executive Steve Easterbrook said a plan to modernize its restaurants was paying off as the world’s biggest hamburger chain produced a 14th consecutive rise in like-for-like sales.  The golden arches has been revamping its outlets globally, rolling out new decor, self-ordering kiosks and free-to-use tablets, delivered a 4.4 per cent year-on-year rise in comparable sales in the fourth quarter. (FT)


Volkswagen held on to its position as the world’s top-selling automaker for the fifth year in a row in 2018, with deliveries rising 0.9% to a record 10.83M. However, just counting cars and light commercial vehicles, the group only sold 10.6M units, less than the 10.76M vehicles sold by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Toyota retained its third spot, selling 10.59M vehicles last year. (SA)

 

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



With 112 S&P 500 companies having reported results, fourth quarter earnings growth for the S&P 500 Index is tracking to a 14.3% year-over-year increase. S&P 500 earnings estimates for the next 12 months have been reduced by 2.1% year to date and may fall further amid slower economic growth, trade tensions, and the government shutdown (LPL)

 

According to PWC 30% of CEOs now think the economy will slow in 2019. That is up from 5% in 2018. 35% of CEOs are “very confident” about growth prospects in 2019.

 

Vancouver-based exercise equipment maker Nautilus 
Lowered its guidance to investors, saying it expects $395-$397 million in revenue for the year and operating income between $20-$21 million. The profit number is 50% lower than what was anticipated. (PBJ)

 

According to the National Association for Business Economics, a rising number of US businesses saw falling sales and lower profit margins as 2018 came too close.  47% of firms in the survey reported rising sales at the end of 2018 down from 61% the previous quarter. The number of businesses reporting following sales jumped from 6% to 17%.

 

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



The S&P 500 spent last week consolidating gains within its expected resistance zone of 2600-2650. Last Friday saw more than 70% of components reach a new 20-day high. Readings above 50% have historically been consistent with higher future returns. Another positive, the Russell 2000 has outperformed the S&P 500 by almost 4% since late-December, suggesting investors' buying hasn't been limited to safer, large-cap names. (LPL)

 

Initial jobless claims fell to 199K in the week ending January 18, the lowest print since 1969. (DOL)

 

LEI points to low recession odds. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI), which is based on a composite of 10 economic indicators, grew 4.3% year over year in December. While LEI growth has tapered off recently, the index has risen year over year for 109 straight months, a sign to us that recessionary odds are low. Since 1970, the LEI has turned negative before every economic recession. 

 

America's favorite Valentine's Day candy won't be available this year. Sweethearts, the conversation heart candy, is missing from shelves this Valentine's season after its original producer went out of business last year. (CNBC) 

 

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



Japan's manufacturing sector fell to the neutral mark in December, according to Purchasing Managers' Index data, after two-and-a-half years of expansion. This follows trade data that showed Japanese exports fell 3.8% year over year in December, the slowest pace in two years.

 

Evio Labs, a marijuana testing company, with facilities in Bend and Eugene, has ceased operations. They voluntarily gave up their license after it was discovered employees were taking home waste materials in violation of all OLCC rules. 

 

China's economy grew 6.4% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 6.6% for the full year, its slowest pace since 1991. (LPL)

 

Ford Motor reported a quarterly profit of 30 cents per share, sales came in above forecasts. Ford lost money in every global region except North America. (CNBC)

 

American factory production grew 1.1 percent in December, the biggest gain since February last year. The increase signaled that US consumer demand may be offsetting a pullback in exports to foreign countries. (WSJ)

 

S&P 500 is up 13 and the NASDAQ is up 36.

Oil is up 21 cents at $53.39 a barrel.

Gold is up $3 at $1283 a Troy ounce.

 

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



China recently dumped $83 billion, into its banking system — a record amount of money injected in one day — in a sign that the economy may be facing stress. (CNBC) 

 

McDonald's lost its right to the trademark for "Big Mac" in a European Union ruling. The case had been brought by Irish fast food chain Supermac's. (CNBC)

 

Oregon-based Columbia helicopters is still selling to the Bristow Group from Texas. This comes even Bristow’s share price has fallen 70% since the deal was announced. Columbia is selling to Bristow for $492 million in cash. (Oregonian)

 

Alaska Airlines is adding 3000 new workers in 2019 and 500 of them will be in Oregon. The airline has a total workforce of about 21,000 workers. (Oregonian)

 

Dutch Bros Coffee has hired Joth Ricci as President. He was formally Pres. and CEO of Adelsheim Vineyard. Before that he was President of Stumptown Coffee Roasters for four years. Dutch Bros. has about 300 locations and 9000 employees. (PBJ)

 

Ford has plans to build an electric F – 150 pickup truck. The F – 150 is America’s most popular vehicle. (CNN)

 

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



A near two-week idling of its only auto factory in Japan sent shares of Subaru lower in Tokyo today.  The just-reported shutdown began Jan. 16 and came after discovering a suspected defect in a power-steering component. The Japanese plant makes up about 60% of Subaru's global production. (SA)

 

Oscar season is coming Netflix has scored 15 Oscar nominations, including a coveted best picture nod for its film Roma, signaling that the streaming service is disrupting the silver screen the way it has television. (FT)

 

A year that brought new levels of regulatory scrutiny spurred Google, Facebook, and Amazon.com to new heights of lobbying spending -- $21M, $13M and $14.2M respectively. That spending ramped up during the year's last quarter, a period that saw tech firms' representatives hauled before Congress to answer concerns about user privacy amid news making scandals about data usage.

 

Intel is preparing for a massive buildup in Oregon potentially spending billions to build and equip a factory for its next generation of computer chips.  Intel hopes to begin construction by the end of June, adding an enormous, third section to the cutting-edge Hillsboro research factory known as D1X.  The facility is already home to Intel’s most advanced research and it’s where the company crafts each new generation of chip technology. Its expansion would represent a deeper commitment to Oregon as well as a billion-dollar stimulus for the state. (Oregonlive)

 

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



The IMF has downgraded its global growth forecast to 3.5% from 3.7% in its October outlook, partly due to the negative impact of U.S. and China tariff increases. Risks to economic growth are “tilted to the downside,’’ citing the threat of a widening trade war, Brexit and a steeper-than-anticipated slowdown in China.  According to the report, "Financial conditions have already tightened since the fall. A range of triggers beyond escalating trade tensions could spark a further deterioration in risk sentiment with adverse growth implications, especially given the high levels of public and private debt." (SA)
 
Google has been fined €50 million by France’s data protection watchdog for breaching European Union online privacy rules, the biggest such penalty levied against a U.S. tech company. France’s National Data Protection Commission, says Google violated rules requiring information about data collection to be transparent and did not go far enough in getting valid user consent to gather data for targeted advertising. The French action could signal the opening shot of potentially several regulatory actions as officials wield Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation. (FT)
 
The US is reportedly set to proceed with a formal request to extradite Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, currently out on bail in Vancouver. Meanwhile, 12 former ambassadors to China have published an open letter urging the release of two Canadians suspiciously detained in the country in the wake of the arrest. (WSJ)

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



China’s economic growth dropped to its slowest annual rate since 1990 as the US trade war and policy decisions in Beijing hit consumer sentiment. Growth for the full year was 6.6 per cent, down from 6.8 per cent in 2017, the lowest level since the country faced international sanctions after the Tiananmen Square massacre. Gross domestic product growth fell to 6.4 per cent in the fourth quarter, the lowest level since the global financial crisis. Growth has now slowed for three consecutive quarters, prompting concern among investors that the country could drag down the global economy. (FT)

 

The World Economic Forum begins tomorrow in Davos, Switzerland.  The snowy summit, which will draw business and political leaders from around the world for economic consultations a and $60 Caesar salads. Neither US President Donald Trump nor UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be in attendance due to political issues at home.  Also absent this year will be President Xi Jinping of China and India’s Narendra Modi, both of whom attended Davos in 2018. (Alphaville)


Markets are closed today for MLK day. 
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.



Responding to reports of a possible trade detente between the U.S. and China, stocks across the globe are continuing their climb higher. Yesterday afternoon the WSJ quoted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as saying Washington could ease tariffs on Beijing, although the suggestion faced pushback from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Earnings season remains in full swing, and investors today will also be watching figures on U.S. industrial production and consumer sentiment. (SA)


America’s most popular vehicle is going electric. While a timeline wasn't given, Ford has announced an all-electric plugin version of its F-150 pickup truck at the Detroit Auto Show - a decision the automaker says will "future-proof" the model and F-Series franchise. It's big news, given that the F-150 is pretty much the quintessential symbol of a fossil fuel-powered workhorse. (WSJ) 


Netflix forecast Q1 revenue slightly below Wall Street estimates, even after a record quarter for new customers, sending shares of the streaming service down 4%  AH. There were also fears that spending on content and willingness to take on new debt were not justified by the latest figures. Alternatively, investors may have been hoping for more after a U.S. price hike earlier this week. (Ft)

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



US Stocks traded higher yesterday and are now 11% higher from the lows set on December 24th, after the Bank of America and Goldman Sachs reported much better than expected earnings.
 
The Founder of the Vanguard Group, and the father of the Index Mutual Fund, John Bogle, died yesterday.  He was 89.  Bogle founded the Vanguard Group in 1974 and as of last month the company is the largest mutual fund company in the world managing $5.3 Trillion.
 
China's central bank, The Peoples Bank of China, injected a record $83 Billion in the country's financial system to shore up liquidity, which initially soothed investors, then stoked fears about the slowing of the world's growth engine.
 
Mortgage lending at the countries largest banks continues to plunge.  In the 4th quarter of 2018 mortgage origination at Citigroup dropped 23%, Wells Fargo fell 28%, and JP Morgan dropped 30% year over year.  Mortgage lending is down because there simply aren't enough houses for people to buy.

 

Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I'm Tyler Simones 



Today is the 11th trading day of 2019, with the S&P 500 Index up over 3% for the year after 10 trading days. 
Historically we've seen good starts to a year produce solid returns. In fact, starting in 1950, when the S&P 500 was up 2.5% or more on the 5th day of the year (like 2019) the full year had been higher the previous 12 out of 13 times, with 2018 being the only down year. (LPL)

 

Credit stress among banks has remained relatively calm recently, signaling an economic recession may not be as imminent as some investors fear. (LPL)

 

The US Department of Labor says inflation at the manufacturing level declined 1/10 of 1% in November. That brought inflation for the year in at 2.5%. 

 

Effective immediately Netflix is increasing prices by 13% to 18% depending on the plan you use. Existing customers will not see the price increase for another three months. (CNBC)

 

With millennial’s increasingly choosing a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle Taco Bell will test out a vegetarian menu board at some restaurants in the first quarter. They feel putting all the meat free items on one menu should make it easier for vegetarians and vegans to see their options. (CNN)

 

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



According to our friends at Eager law, if you own residential rental property in Oregon and you sometimes feel like the state looks poorly upon your ilk, you're right. And it's likely to get a lot worse. Faced with a severe rental housing shortage and rising prices in some parts of the state, Democrats in Salem want the country's first statewide rent control law, and they have the votes to get it. 

 

ShopKo vendors have taken steps that may force the company to file bankruptcy this week. ShopKo has 300 retail locations with 18,000 employees. (AP)

 

Our trade surplus with China grew by 17 percent year-over-year to $323.32 billion in 2018. That's the highest on record dating back to 2006. (CNBC)

 

This week 35 S&P 500 companies will report quarterly results, highlighted by several big banks.  We expect a solid economic backdrop to support earnings in the mid-to-high teens for the quarter. (LPL)

 

China's exports fell 4.4% year over year, while Chinese imports significantly missed expectations slipping 3.1%. Both figures were the worst since 2016 and about 10 percentage points below the November readings. (LPL) 

 

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



Falling gas prices weigh on U.S. inflation. Consumer price inflation data shows inflation fell 1/10 of 1% last month. At an annualized rate of 1.9% inflation is very tame. A 7.5% drop in gasoline prices offset increases in food, shelter, and electricity services. Excluding more volatile components such as food and energy (Core CPI), inflation was up 2.2% year over year. Though not the Federal Reserve's (Fed) preferred inflation measure, consumer prices have ticked lower recently, but growth rates remain in a healthy range that supports flexibility on the Fed's part. (LPL)

 

The Wall Street Journal reported that investors began 2018 anticipating inflation, but higher consumer prices have not materialized. Returns for Treasury inflation-protected securities ended the year down 1.4 percent, while returns for fixed-rate US government debt rose 1.9 percent. 

 

Global earnings expectations have converged. Though earnings growth is expected to be stronger in the U.S. and EM in the coming year, that gap has closed, with 6% expected in developed international markets, 7% in the U.S., and 8% in EM, according to FactSet estimates. 

 

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



According to the mortgage bankers Association home loan applications rose 23.5% last week but are still 22% lower than a year ago.

 

The e-cigarette company Juul it is about to air its first television ad campaign targeting adult smokers. (CNBC)

Could they be the next iconic retailer to bite the dust? JCPenney said holiday shopping season sales were down 3.5% year-over-year.

 

Target says its same-store sales climbed 5.7 percent during the holiday shopping season.

E-commerce company Wayfare is hiring 600 people at its new Springfield Oregon call center. (Oregonian)

 

Almost 200 new jobs will be created at the North American headquarters of Daimler trucks in Portland. The jobs will center around developing self driving semi’s. The company says it will spend $570 million on the new efforts. (Oregonian)

 

According to the Census Bureau’s American community survey 7.7% of Portland’s residents work from home. That ranks at number 4 out of the top 50 US metro areas.

 

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


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