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Business News


Total mortgage application volume decreased 4% this week. Refinances fell 4% but are up almost 48% compared to last year. Mortgage applications to purchase a home also fell 4% for the week to the lowest level since February, but are still 10% higher compared to last year. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

Target reported profits that were essentially flat compared to last year.  Target saw same store sales decline 1.1%. It was the first time comps were negative since the first quarter 2014. The company's digital sales growth increased by more than 16% during the quarter. Only about 4% of Target's sales come from digital. (Fox Bus. News)

Lowe's reported lower quarterly earnings and revenue. The home improvement empire reported profits of $1.31 per share on $18.3 billion in revenue. Same store sales at Lowe's rose 2%. (CNBC)

Many companies are cutting jobs in response to rising health care costs spurred by Obamacare, according to a new survey by the New York Fed. Roughly a fifth of service sector and manufacturing executives said they're reducing the number of workers. (WSJ)

S&P 500 is down 3 and the NASDAQ is down 10.  MSCI International Index is down 0.10%.

Oil is up 31 cents at $47.10 a barrel.

Gold is up $7 at $1356 a Troy ounce.

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



For the second time this month, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq hit simultaneous record closes, after not having done so since December 31, 1999. (CNBC)
 
Home builder sentiment rose two points to 60 in August. Housing affordability, which has been weakening amid rising prices, is playing into the drop in buyer traffic. Higher prices have more than canceled out the benefits of falling mortgage rates this summer. Just 62% of both new and existing homes sold between the beginning of April and end of June were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,700. (CNBC)
 
Food distributor Sysco Corp. reported quarterly profits of $216 million. The company posted sales of $13.7 billion in the period. Sysco shares have risen 27% percent since the beginning of the year and increased 36% in the last 12 months. (AP)
 
Columbia Sportswear won a patent case in US District Court.  They alleged Seirus Innovative Accessories created a line of products, called HeatWave, by copying Columbia’s patented Omni-Heat Reflective products. Columbia filed the suit in early 2015 accusing it of infringing three patents. The two other issues go to trial in April 2017. (PBJ)
 
S&P 500 is down 3 and the NASDAQ is down 7.  MSCI International Index is flat.
 
Oil is up 25 cents at $46.00 a barrel. Oil prices are near five-week highs.
 
Gold is up $12 at $1360 a Troy ounce.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Retail sales were flat in July as Americans cut back on purchases of clothing and other goods. Sales are up 2.3% from a year ago. Online retail sales climbed 1.3%, while sales at clothing stores fell 0.5%. (Commerce Dept.)
 
Producer prices fell in July by 0.4%, pointing to a tame inflation environment. In the 12 months through July, the PPI slipped 0.2%.  Energy prices fell 1.0%, prices for services fell 0.3%, and healthcare costs increased 0.3%. (Labor Department)
 
The Index of Consumer Sentiment hit 90.4 in August. Consumers' more favorable prospects for the overall economy offset a small pullback in personal finances. The assessment of current economic conditions hit 106.1 in August, fading slightly from July's 109.0. (University of Michigan)
 
Great story in The Atlantic online this month about Kent Couch owner on the Shell gas station on Hwy 20 and 27th and the Growler Guy franchise.  This man is a real innovator.  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/08/convenience-store-owner/494756/
 
S&P 500 is up 5 and the NASDAQ is up 10.  MSCI International Index is flat.
 
Oil is up 25 cents at $44.75 a barrel. Oil has seen a 10% rally since the start of the month
 
Gold is down $5 at $1346 a Troy ounce.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Appetite for gold is showing no signs of abating, as figures from the World Gold Council revealed record investment demand (1,064 tons) in the first half of 2016. The trend for ETFs to pile in to the precious metal sent the price of gold soaring by 25% in H1, the biggest price rise since 1980. And for the first time ever, investment, rather than jewelry, was the largest component of gold demand for two consecutive quarters. (SA)

Today marks the first anniversary of the so-called "one-off devaluation of the yuan". On this date last year, China's central bank cut its guiding rate for the national currency by around 2% against the dollar, a move that sent shockwaves through markets. The PBOC has since continued to incrementally weaken the yuan, with the currency depreciating by around 7% against the greenback over the past 12 months. (FT)

In another sign of an overheating housing market, for the first time in history, a metropolitan area median home price tops the $1mm dollar mark, as San Jose, Calif. became the first city where the median price of a home eclipsed $1 million. (Marketwatch)

Three of the biggest U.S. department store operators, Macy's, Kohl's, and Nordstroms, are expected to issue healthier second-quarter reports today compared with their dismal Q1 results. Warm weather in June and July is expected to have helped retailers sell apparel, a weak category over the past few quarters. Macy's profit is also expected to get a boost from real estate deals. (SA)

S&P 500 futures are up 6 and NASDAQ futures are up 14.  The MSCI International Index is down 1/100 of a %.

Oil is down 14 cents at $41.57 a barrel.
Gold is up $.40 at just under $1352 a Troy ounce.

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



Lots of economic data points this morning. Nonfarm productivity dropped by a 0.5% annual rate in the April-June period. It was the third consecutive quarterly decline. Strong employment gains have helped to raise output. Nonfarm payrolls increased by more than 500,000 jobs in June and July. Output per worker in the second quarter increased at a 1.2%.  Hourly compensation per hour rose at a 1.5%. (Reuters)
 
The struggling retailer Gap reported July overall company same-store sales fell 4%. They were flat at Old Navy, down 3% at the Gap stores and declined 9% at Banana Republic. The company is struggling to attract shoppers going to stores like Zara, Forever 21 and H&M. Analysts are predicting another decline in same store sales for August.  (CNN)
 
Wholesale inventories rose in June by 0.3%.  Wholesale stocks of farm products increased 4.0%, inventories of drugs surged 4.9% and auto inventories dipped 0.1%. Sales at wholesalers was up 1.9%. It would take wholesalers 1.33 months to clear shelves, down from 1.35 months in May. (Commerce Department)
 
S&P 500 is up 3 and the NASDAQ is up 5.  MSCI International Index is up 0.70%.
 
Oil is down 25 cents at $42.49 a barrel.
 
Gold is up $13 at $1359 a Troy ounce. Palladium is surging to a 14-month high.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Warren Buffets Berkshire Hathaway reported a 25% jump in quarterly profits driven by the company's acquisitions, including former Oregon company airplane parts-maker Precision Castparts. Berkshire continues to see weaknesses in its Burlington Northern railroad business. The company posted profits of $5 billion. Second-quarter revenue of $54.5 billion grew at 6% year-over-year. (Investopedia)
 
The Index of Small Business Optimism rose one-tenth of a point in July to 94.6. At 94.6, the Index remains well below the 42-year average of 98. Four of the 10 Index components posted a gain, four declined, and two were unchanged. The outlook for business conditions in the next six months continued to improve, gaining 16 percentage points since January. Owners are reporting that they cannot find qualified workers and cite it as their third “Single Most Important Business Problem”. (NFIB)
 
Subway is changing its logo as the sandwich giant has struggled in the last couple years. It is first the time the company has changed the logo in more than a decade and it's the sixth time the company has changed the logo in its 50-year history. (CNN)
 
S&P 500 is up 3 and the NASDAQ is up 7.  MSCI International Index is up 0.33%.
 
Oil is up 16 cents at $43.18 a barrel.
 
Gold is down $3 at $1338 a Troy ounce.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Bank of the Cascades has closed on its deal to buy Prime Pacific Bank which was headquartered in Lynnwood Washington for $17.1 million. Prime Pacific had a $122.9 million in assets, $100.7 million in loans. (PBJ)
 
Gun maker Sturm Ruger's saw sales jump 19%, to $168 million in the second quarter. Profits climbed 34%. The FBI reported July was the busiest July on record for background checks, putting 2016 on pace to set an annual record. (CNN)
 
Nike is taking its golf ball and going home. Nike plans to stop making golf clubs, balls and bags.  It will instead focus on golf shoes and sportswear. Nike made sales of $706 million on golf in the company's last fiscal year, compared to $5 billion generated by its running sector or $2.7 billion from Jordan Brand sales. (CNN)
 
Markets are shrugging off weaker-than-expected Chinese trade data that showed a 4.4% decline in exports and a 12.5% slump in imports compared with last year. (CNBC)
 
S&P 500 is up 2 and the NASDAQ is up 4.  MSCI International Index is up.
 
Oil is up 86 cents at $42.66 a barrel.
 
Gold is down $5 at $1340 a Troy ounce.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



It’s been a jobs roller coaster lately… monthly U.S. payroll gains have ranged from 11,000 to 287,000 in the previous two months, but this morning’s jobs number might just provide some context for what was starting to look like a hiring slowdown in 2016.  And a great number it was: The US economy added 255,000 jobs in July, that topped expectations that the pace would have moderated to 180,000.  The robust rate of job creation in June and July comes as a welcome sign for policymakers after a dismal reading in May ignited concerns that the labour market, which has been one of the strongest pillars of the recovery from the financial crisis, had hit the skids. (FT)
 
It’s been a great month for biotech: The US biotechnology sector has roared higher since late June, partly offsetting a rout that began in December, as sentiment over risk assets has improved and investors have bet on M&A and innovation.  The Nasdaq biotechnology index has surged by more than a fifth since June 27, while the broader S&P 500 index has advanced by a more modest 8 per cent. (FT)
 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sued the federal government, alleging the Treasury Department's rules limiting tax-motivated inversion transactions violate the law. The suit claims the government rewrote the Internal Revenue Code itself after Congress wouldn't go along with President Obama's proposed legislative changes to limit inversions. (SA)
 
S&P 500 futures are up 7 and NASDAQ futures are up 22. The MSCI International Index is up 1/10 a %.
 
Oil is down $.03 cents at $41.90 a barrel.
Gold is up $.50 at $1377 a Troy ounce.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.



ADP says the private sector added 179,000 positions in July. But that growth was unbalanced. Services added 185,000 positions, but the manufacturing and construction sectors each lost 6,000 workers. The biggest single growth area in the private sector was professional and business services, which added 59,000 jobs, trade, transportation and utilities grew by 27,000, while financial activities saw 11,000 new positions. Firms with between 50 and 499 employees added 68,000, small business contributed 61,000, and large companies grew by 50,000. (Reuters)
 
The Institute for Supply Management says its non-manufacturing index fell to 55.5 in June. Any reading above 50 signals growth. Services have been a source of strength for the economy with the ISM services index showing growth for 78 straight months. (AP)
 
Stock of Electro Scientific Industries, maker of laser tools for high-tech manufacturers, dropped 25% yesterday after releasing terrible guidance. ESI said quarterly sales were up 11% from a year ago, but warned revenues will plunge 30% in the current quarter. (Oregon Live)
 
S&P 500 is up 3 and the NASDAQ is up 5.  MSCI International Index is up.
 
Oil is down 16 cents at $40.67 a barrel.
 
Gold is flat at $1365 a Troy ounce.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Payroll service company ADP says the private sector added 179,000 jobs in July. Big government jobs report is on Friday.
 
Consumer spending rose 0.4% in June. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. Consumer spending rose at a 4.2% annual rate, the fastest in nearly two years. There is little sign of inflation. The personal consumption expenditures price index, rose 0.1% in June. In the 12 months through June the core PCE increased 1.6%. Personal income rose 0.2% in June. Savings fell to $732 billion, the lowest level since March 2015. (Commerce Department)
 
University of Michigan economics professor Mark Perry and Michael Saltsman say the $15-an-hour minimum wage proposal will lead to fewer entry level jobs, making already-high youth unemployment rates even worse. Perry and Saltsman say the high rate of youth unemployment shows that the current minimum wage is too high, and they worry that a wage increase would cause more young people to lose their jobs and turn to lives of idleness and crime. (WSJ)
 
Ford Motor Company, the only domestic auto maker not to be bailed out with your tax dollars, saw July sales fall 3%. General Motors' sales fell 2%. Fiat Chrysler sales rose 0.3%. The pent-up demand that has helped drive sales since 2009 seems to be satisfied. (Reuters)
 
S&P 500 is down 2 and the NASDAQ is down 6.  MSCI International Index is down 0.50%.
 
Oil is up 33 cents at $39.87 a barrel.
 
Gold is up $1 at $1373 a Troy ounce.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



We kick off the first day of August trading and July was the second best month of 2016 on Wall Street. The S&P 500 hit an intraday high Friday, while the Nasdaq logged its fourth straight gain. (CNBC)

Expect some summer volatility. August has not been a great time historically for stocks. Over the past 20 years, the markets on average have performed worse in August than during any other month. The markets in August averaged a decline of 1.3%, though it is positive 55% of the time. (Bespoke)

If you are a long-term investor these dooms day prognostications should not be of concern to you.  Goldman Sachs has cut its rating on equities to "underweight," saying its risk appetite indicator has turned neutral, which suggests that markets are more vulnerable to growth and policy disappointments. Jeffrey Gundlach, the CEO of DoubleLine Capital, said that many asset classes look frothy and investors should “sell everything”. (Reuters)

S&P 500 is up 3 and the NASDAQ is up 9.  MSCI International Index is flat.

Oil is down 25 cents at $41.20 a barrel. Overproduction of crude and refined products continue to weigh on prices. U.S. crude is trading in bear market territory, after losing 14% in July, the worst month in a year. (Reuters)

Gold is down $4 at $1354 a Troy ounce.

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



The first look at U.S. GDP for the second quarter has just arrived this morning: Economists expected 2.6% growth to be reported, and it looks like forecasts were a bit ambitious – the US economy grew at just 1.2%. Another piece of important economic data this morning: The reading from the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey will also be closely watched. The preliminary report for July showed a 4.3% month-on-month drop, analysts expect a slight improvement for the final survey report (SA).
 
Some great tech earnings to highlight from yesterday: Retailers continue to lose e-commerce market share to Amazon, which posted better-than-expected results for Q2. The dazzling quarter included 31% Y/Y net sales growth.  Google posted similarly strong results – with sales growth from advertising helping parent company Alphabet top 2Q expectations. Alphabet's revenues rose 21% year over year. (WSJ)
 
The gains keep piling up for Facebook as it passed Berkshire Hathaway's valuation this week to jump into 5th place on the list of most valuable companies in the world. Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and ExxonMobil are now the only companies with a larger market cap than the social network juggernaut. Facebook's market cap has increased to just under $364B after this week's vibrant post-earnings rally (FT).
 
S&P 500 futures are down 4 and NASDAQ futures are up 8.  MSCI International Index is up 3/10 of a %.
 
Oil is down $.47 cents at $40.67 a barrel.
 
Gold is up just under $4 at $1345 a Troy ounce.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.

 


 

Traffic & Weather

 

 

 

 

Jones Road, full road closure between Bennington Lane and NE Butler Market Road. May 18 – August 18, local access only.
 

 

Orion Drive closed in two locations for sewer work; at the intersection with Avery Lane and between Desert Woods Drive and King Hezekiah Way.  From July 11 to Sept. 6. Detours marked.

 

Valhalla Sewer Relocation Project, Mt. Washington Drive at Shevlin Park Road intersection and North to Regency Street. Nighttime closures with detours marked during roundabout construction. Daytime closures for construction towards Regency Street.    7 p.m. – 7 a.m., July 11 – November.

 
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