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Signed contracts to buy existing homes slipped 0.8% in March according to the National Association of Realtors, but is 0.8% higher compared to March of 2016. Home prices are up nearly 7% compared to a year ago with 42% of homes sold at or above list price in March.

New orders for U.S. capital goods rose 0.2% last month according to the Commerce Department.  Last month, orders for machinery slipped 0.2%, but shipments increased 0.7%.

Initial jobless claims for the week rose 14,000 to 257,000. The four-week moving average of claims fell 500 to 242,250 pointing toward a gradual tightening in the labor market. Overall, the data is still consistent with a healthy labor market and continued economic growth. (LPL Research)

Industrials have produced the biggest upside surprise of all 11 S&P sectors this earnings season. Overall, a solid 77% of S&P 500 have beaten on the bottom line, and 63% on revenue.  First quarter earnings are tracking to a 11.8% year-over-year increase. About 320 S&P 500 companies are still left to report first quarter results. (LPL Research)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus radio when we will talk with a professional fiduciary.

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



Two trading days left in April, and the S&P 500 is on track for its fifth positive month out of the past six, and the Nasdaq is on track for its sixth consecutive monthly gain. (CNBC)

We hear a lot about the tightening labor market and pressure on wages. One company, Tyson Foods is considering raising wages for its poultry plant workers, on top of a 3% to 3.5% wage hike that it gave workers in November. (CNBC)

Trump's tax plan is just the start of negotiations. The Trump tax plan includes a 15% corporate tax rate, a 10% rate on repatriated profits, and a 15% maximum rate for pass-through businesses. Tax reform could boost S&P 500 corporate profits meaningfully, potentially by 5% or more beginning in 2018. (LPL Research)

The farm and ranch oriented Tractor Supply posted a first-quarter profit of $60.3 million or 46 cents per share. The company had revenue of $1.56 billion in the period. Tractor Supply shares are down 14% in 2017. (AP)

Under Armour posted its first-ever loss of $2.3 million or 1 cent per share. Revenue was $1.12 billion up 7% from last year. (CNBC)

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



With 95 S&P 500 companies having reported, S&P 500 earnings for first quarter 2017 point to an 11.2% year-over-year increase. The early upside has been driven largely by financials, which are tracking to a 19.0% year-over-year increase. Industrials have also surprised to the upside thus far. Conversely, since earnings season began, first quarter earnings estimates have been cut for the consumer discretionary, energy, and telecom sectors. (LPL Research)

Leading indicators rise for seventh consecutive month. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI) pushed 0.4% higher in March. Eight of 10 indicators increased in March, led by contributions from strong new manufacturing orders. The LEI has climbed 3.5% year over year, a rate that has historically been associated with low odds of a recession occurring within the next year. (LPL Research)

The toymaker Mattel has a huge problem. Fewer kids want to play with the company's Barbie and American Girl dolls, and Fisher-Price toys. Their stock is down to its lowest level since October 2015. Sales were down 15% last quarter.  Barbie sales plunged 13%, American Girl sales were down 12%, and the company's Mega Bloks, sales plummeted 38%. (CNNMoney)

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



Stocks are sharply higher after centrist French presidential candidate Macron won a plurality in in Sunday's election. Anti-EU candidate Le Pen came in second. The final election is set for May 7th. The French stock market is up about 5%, the euro is at a five-month high, gold and bond prices are lower. (CNBC)

Eurozone PMIs hit 6-year highs. Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) data in the Eurozone came in a 56.7 for March (a headline number above 50.0 indicates expansion), besting analysts' expectations and reaching levels not seen since 2011. Both manufacturing and services saw improvements, with France and Germany, the group's two largest components, driving the increases. Employment growth rates also hit levels not seen in almost a decade; a particularly important sign for the European Central Bank (ECB), which referenced job creation as a key measure of the success of its stimulus policies. (LPL Research)

Summit Bank with branches in Eugene and Bend reported a rise in first-quarter profits compared to last year.  They posted a profit of $762,000, up 31% from last year. Non-interest income in the quarter more than doubled in the last 12 months.  The bank reached a record cash and securities portfolio of $49.2 million in the quarter, with capital growing 40% compared to 2016. (Summit Bank PR)

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



The stock market rallied yesterday, with the Nasdaq posting a record finish as investors welcomed a deluge of stronger-than-expected corporate earnings reports and economic data.  Comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that President Donald Trump’s tax reform is not linked to the outcome of the healthcare bill also bolstered sentiment.

Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to a still-low 244,000 in mid-April. Meanwhile, the number of out-of-work people collecting unemployment checks fell to a 17-year low last week, underscoring the strongest U.S. labor market in years.
The US manufacturing index slid in April, but from high levels, suggesting slower growth in the factory sector after a postelection surge.  The index fell to 22.0 from 32.8. It had hit a 33-year high of 43.3 in February and has receded every month since then.

The gap between an index of leading economic indicators and one of current economic indicators is at its highest since the eve of the recession — suggesting either a sharp upward turn in the economy is imminent, or a sharp downturn is imminent.

Shares of Dow component American Express gained more than 6% following a first-quarter earnings beat. The credit card company reported earnings of $1.34 a share on revenue of $7.9 billion.  Analysts had anticipated $1.28 a share in earnings. Excluding its Costco-related revenue decline, sales came in 7% higher than a year earlier.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones
 



Mortgage applications decreased last week by 1.8% from the previous week. Total volume is down 23.5% from last year. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.22%. Mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level since November 2016. Applications to purchase a home fell 3% for the week and are up 1% from a year ago. Refinance applications were flat for the week, but are down 41.5% from last year. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

Industrial production rose 0.5% March. Most of that gain was due to the largest increase in utilities output on record. Factory output fell in March by 0.4%. (Reuters)

Consumer inflation in Europe moderated to 1.5% on an annualized basis, and to 0.7% when excluding the volatile food and energy categories. (LPL Research)

Rail giant, CSX, first-quarter profits climbed 2% to $362 million, or 39 cents per share.. CSX said its sales climbed 10% to $2.87 billion. The railroad was hit with a $173 million restructuring charge in the quarter. CSX layed off 1,000 management employees in February. CSX operates more than 21,000 miles of track in 23 Eastern states and two Canadian provinces. Its shares are up 31% in 2017.

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



Homebuilding fell in March by 6.8% to an annual rate of 1.22 million units. Single-family homebuilding fell 6.2.  Multi-family housing starts dropped 7.9%. On a positive note building permits increased 3.6% with a 13.8% surge in multi-family units. (Commerce Department)

Confidence among homebuilders remains high, according to the National Association of Homebuilder's Housing Market Index for April. While homebuilding is only a small part of the economy, it can provide important feedback on consumer strength. The overall housing picture continues to remain positive, supported by a strong labor market and tight inventory, although higher interest rates may be creating a bit of a headwind. (LPL Research)

Inflation expectations are at year-to-date lows. The 10-year breakeven inflation rate finished the week lower from 1.94% to 1.92% according to Federal Reserve Economic Data.

Big Blue, IBM, reported quarterly earnings that showed a growing cloud business. But the company has now posted five straight years of declining year-over-year quarterly revenues. The company had EPS of $2.38, that's a 1% gain.  IBM had sales of $18.2 billion, a 3% decline. IBM said it returned $2.6 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases in the first quarter. (Reuters)

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



Horizon Air and its pilots’ union have reached a labor agreement that will raise wages.  Alaska Air Group, Horizon's parent company and APA Teamsters Local 1224 announced the agreement on Friday.  The union represents 675 pilots. (Oregon Live)

Upside surprise to Chinese GDP. Chinese Q1 GDP was up 6.9%. Consumer spending is key to the Chinese government, as it is trying to manage its economy away from infrastructure and heavy industry and toward consumer spending and the service sector. (LPL Research)

Goldman Sachs reported first-quarter earnings that disappointed the street and are sending the stock lower. The bank had EPS of $5.15 a share on revenue of $8.0 billion.  Profits from stock trading fell 6% from last year. (CNBC)

Bank of America first-quarter results put a smile on Wall Street faces.  The bank posted EPS of 41 cents on revenue of $22.2 billion. The bank saw loans business grow by 6% in the quarter. (Reuters)

Johnson & Johnson quarterly sales rose to $17.8 billion up 1.7% in the first quarter. Pharmaceutical sales rose 0.8% to $8.25 billion. The company had profits of $4.42 billion in the quarter. (Reuters)

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



Producer prices fell in March by 0.1%.  That is the first decline in seven months. The decline was led by the cost of services and energy products. Despite the monthly dip in prices, the PPI climbed 2.3% over the last year. That was the biggest gain since March 2012.  (AP)

 

Retail sales fell in March by 0.2%.  Year-over-year retail sales increased 5.2%. The slowdown in sales is blamed on slow tax refunds. (Reuters)

 

The Consumer Price Index dropped 0.3% in March, the first decline in 13 months and biggest decrease since January 2015.  Year-over-year CPI is up 2.4%. (Labor Department)

 

Mixed batch of bank earnings last week. Results from the three big banks were varied but positive signs included strong trading results, particularly in fixed income, and solid loan underwriting. Net interest margin and loan growth performance were mixed for the group (though JPMorgan produced year-over-year loan growth of 9% and an increase in net interest margins). We expect loan growth to pick up over the course of the year for the banks overall as policy uncertainty clears and recent strong consumer confidence data is followed by better economic data. (LPL Research)

The S&P 500 is up 1 and the NASDAQ is up 15.  The MSCI international index is down.



Total mortgage applications were up 1.5% for the week, but is 21% lower than a year ago. Interest rates fell for the third straight week. Applications to refinance were unchanged for the week and are 40% lower than a year ago. Applications to purchase a home rose 5% for the week and are 3% higher than a year ago. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

Import prices fell 0.2% last month, their biggest drop in seven months, as the cost of petroleum declined. Prices for imported petroleum fell 3.6% in March. The year-on-year increase in import prices is 4.2 percent. Excluding petroleum, import prices have now increased for three straight months. Export prices rose 0.2% in March. Export prices increased 3.6% from a year ago, the biggest rise since December 2011. (Labor Department)

Private oil inventory data showed a 1.3 million barrel drawdown this week. The inventory data, supply disruptions, an in geopolitical tensions, and reports that the Saudis will agree to extend production curbs have fueled oil's recent winning streak. (LPL Research)

The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey revealed a 2.1% increase in job openings in February to 5.7 million, the highest level since July 2016.  Hires fell 2% month over month but remained near the best levels of the expansion. Year over year, openings were up 3.2% and hires were up 2.4%. (Labor Department)

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



The remarkable surge in small business optimism that began in November was sustained in March, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Economic Trends Report. The Optimism Index in March was 104.7. On the other hand, the Uncertainty Index hit 93 in March, which is the second highest reading in the survey’s history, as more small business owners are having a difficult time anticipating the factors that affect their businesses, especially government policy.

Inflation expectations are slightly lower. The 10-year breakeven inflation rate this week is slightly lower from 1.97% to 1.94% according to Federal Reserve Economic Data. The 1.94% level is below the Fed's 2% inflation target. (LPL Research)

We are out of the gates with earnings season.  Delta Air Lines had first-quarter profits of $603 million. The airline had sales of $9.2 billion in the period. Delta shares are down almost 8% since the beginning of the year. (AP)

Starting next week, Wal-Mart will give discounts on 10,000 online-only items if you pick them up at the store. The retail giant is also cutting hundreds of jobs to reduce costs. (CNBC)

Gold is at its highest level since November, up 10% this year, on the flight to safety against international uncertainty. (CNBC)

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



New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) margin debt made another all-time high in February at $528 billion. Many say this is a contrarian indicator, as it shows investors are potentially over-leveraged. So is record margin debt really a warning sign for equities? For starters, it appears to be more of a coincident indicator than a leading indicator, as margin debt made an all-time high in April 2013 and it has moved higher with the S&P 500 the past four years. In fact, the S&P 500 has gained approximately 70% since margin debt started making new highs. (LPL Research)

The S&P 500 is likely to produce double-digit year-over-year earnings growth for the first quarter as earnings season gets underway this week. Consensus is for +10.1% earnings growth.  That would be the best since 2011. Growth is expected to be powered by energy's rebound from the oil downturn that battered the sector early last year while solid macro data in recent months is also supportive. (LPL Research)

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Composite Advance/Decline (A/D) line broke out to new highs last week. This shows how many stocks are advancing versus declining at any given time. In other words, it measures overall market breadth. To see new highs occur suggests there is a good deal of investor participation and the overall equity rally could continue to have legs. (LPL Research)

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



Mentor Graphics' $4.5 billion sale, which closed last week, won't bring immediate changes to the company or its Wilsonville headquarters, says the new owner Siemens. Mentor will retain its name, headquarters and CEO. Siemens the German engineering giant also said Mentor will hold onto the vast majority of its employees. Mentor reported record revenue of $1.3 billion in 2016 and $155 million in profits. Mentor employed 5,700 before the deal with Siemens, including about 1,000 at its 53-acre Wilsonville campus. (PBJ)

A little deeper looks at the March jobs report. The U.S. economy created 98,000 jobs in March, decelerating from February's downwardly revised 219,000. The unemployment rate was a positive surprise, falling from 4.7% to 4.5%. Wage growth disappointed slightly at +0.2% month-over-month growth, but stands at a healthy 2.7% year over year. Slowing job growth is normal at this point in the cycle. Job creation would need to slow to a sustained 25,000-50,000 per month to signal that a recession may be imminent. (LPL Research)

The banking scandal at Wells Fargo is still unfolding. An independent Wells Fargo investigation into that sales scandal, is clawing back an additional $28 million in pay from former CEO John Stumpf and $47 million from community banking chief Carrie Tolstedt. (CNBC)

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



The US economy added 98,000 new jobs in March. Of those 89,000 were in the private sector.  The unemployment rate fell to 4.5%. (Labor Department)

Costco had higher comparable same store sales last month of 6%, following an increase of 4% in February and 7% in January. The company had sales of $11.64 billion in March, up 9% year over year. Costco, has 729 warehouse stores, 508 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 95 in Canada, 37 in Mexico and 79 in the rest of the world. (Zacks)

 

The Federal Reserve minutes from the March meeting show they were beginning to discuss the gradual reduction of the Fed's $4.5 trillion balance sheet.  No final decision was made. They also expressed concern about stock valuations. (LPL Research)

Initial jobless claims for the week showed a continued decline in those seeking unemployment benefits. The decrease in claims to 234,000 points toward a tightening labor market. This marks the 109th straight week the figure has come in below 300,000, a key threshold generally associated with a healthy labor market. (LPL Research)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio Show when will answer the question “What should I do if the stock market falls?”

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



Walgreens reported quarterly results as EPS to rose 4% to $1.36, on revenue of $29.5 billion. Same-store sales at U.S. retail pharmacies rose 2.4%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores climbed 7.9%, and market share widened to 20.4% from 19.4% a year ago. (Investor Daily)

 

ADP employment report points to another strong month of job growth. ADP, the nation's largest payroll processing firm, says the economy added 263,000 new jobs in March. While the report augurs well for Friday's government employment report. Areas of strength indicated in the report included construction, manufacturing, and small business hiring, a positive sign that a recent surge in business confidence may be flowing through to hiring decisions. Estimates for Friday's jobs report stand at non-farm payroll growth of 178,000 and the unemployment rate holding steady at 4.7%. (LPL Research)

 

The non-manufacturing sector grew in March for the 87th consecutive month, says the Institute of Supply Management. The index hit 55.2.  Fifteen non-manufacturing industries surveyed reported growth and three industries reporting contraction in March.

 

Bed Bath & Beyond reported a quarterly profit of $268.7 million. The home goods retailer posted revenue of $3.53 billion.  Bed Bath & Beyond shares have fallen 7% since the beginning of the year. (FBN)

 

The S&P 500 is flat and the NASDAQ is up 2.  The MSCI international index is flat.

 

Oil is up 20 cents at $51.33 a barrel.

 

Gold is up $5 at $1254 a Troy ounce.

 

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



The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for March posted a strong 57.2. Internal numbers were robust, with the employment component rising to the highest level since June 201. There were, solid new orders, and a meaningful rise in new export orders. Improving global growth, a stabilizing dollar, and a rebound in oil prices have all been contributing to the rebound in manufacturing, which may be part of a developing trend of accelerating business spending in 2017. (LPL Research)

February's trade deficit came in at $-43.2 billion, a sizable improvement on January's disappointing $-48.2 billion. The data should provide a boost to first quarter 2017 gross domestic product (GDP), to be released later this month. The improved data were largely driven by a decline in imports (-1.8%), but did show a small gain in exports (0.2%), a positive sign for global growth, with the total value of exports rising to their highest level since 2012. (LPL Research)

LinkedIn Workforce Report says employers hired fewer people in March, but year-over-year hiring remained strong. Hiring the U.S. was 5.8% higher than March 2016.
Hiring in the oil and energy industry was up by 30.8% from March 2016. (AP)

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



The S&P 500 lost 0.04% in March. This was the first monthly decline since October, just missing the first five month win streak since March-July 2016. It was still a great first quarter as the S&P 500 jumped 5.5%; the best return since Q4 2015 and the best Q1 since 2013. For the quarter, technology and consumer discretionary led, while telecom and energy lagged. (LPL Research)

Over the past 20 years, no month sports a higher monthly S&P 500 average than April at 2.0%. Going back to 1950, the average monthly return is 1.5%, with only the historically strong months of November and December better. There are multiple potential market-moving events in April: the start of Q1 earnings season, elections in France, and a potential government shutdown. But for the long-term retail investor this will be nothing more than white noise. (LPL Research)

The manufacturing sector expanded in March for the 94th consecutive month. The index hit 57.2, a decrease from the February reading of 57.7. Of the 18 manufacturing industries included in the survey, 17 reported growth. (Institute for Supply Management)

February construction spending increased 0.8%. Its highest level since April 2006. (Commerce Department)

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



Consumer spending rose in February by 0.1%. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending fell 0.1% in February. (Commerce Department)
 
The personal consumption expenditures price index gained 0.1% in February.  Year-on-year rate of increase in the PCE price index which measures inflation is 2.1%. That is the biggest year-on-year gain since April 2012. (Commerce Department)
 
Personal income rose 0.4% last month. Accounting for inflation wages increased 0.2%. Savings rose to a five-month high of $808.0 billion. (Commerce Department)
 
On the international front. Chinese PMI data remains relatively strong at 51.8. While not a robust figure, it is still the strongest official data since early in 2012. The Eurozone Consumer Spending Rose in February

Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading was softer than expected as full year CPI came in at 1.5% vs. the 1.8% expected. The softness of the data may take some pressure off the European Central Bank to begin tightening monetary policy. (LPL Research)
 
Haribo, maker of golden gummy bears, announced plans to open their first US factory in Wisconsin in 2020 and employ 400 individuals. Haribo employs 7,000 people worldwide at 16 sites in 10 countries. (Yahoo)
 
The S&P 500 is up 1 and the NASDAQ is up 6.  The MSCI international index is flat.
 
Oil is up 12 cents at $50.72 a barrel.
 
Gold is down $2 at $1249 a Troy ounce.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 
 



A federal judge says Wells Fargo must face a lawsuit holding it responsible for investor losses stemming from its mortgage-backed securities sales. Investors may pursue claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty. (Reuters)
 
DuPont will divest part of its crop protection business to FMC Corp, while acquiring FMC's health and nutrition business. DuPont will get $1.6 billion to compensate for the difference in the value of the assets. The deal is part of DuPont's commitment to European regulators to win approval for its planned merger with Dow Chemical. (CNBC)
 
GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2016 was revised slightly higher to 2.1%. The upward revision was mainly driven by a better picture of consumer spending. The first estimate of GDP for the first quarter of 2017 will be released on April 28, with expectations tracking to another quarter of near 2% growth. (LPL Research)
 
Initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week showed a decrease of 3,000 from the prior week. Claims remain comfortably below 300,000, which is generally associated with a healthy labor market. (LPL Research)
 
Join us this weekend for the Financial Focus Radio Show when we will tackle this question – “Is volatility back?”
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



U.S. stocks posted broad-based gains Tuesday, snapping its eight-day losing streak, as investors cheered better-than-expected economic data.  Attracting the most attention was a reading of consumer confidence in March, which soared to the highest level in more than 16 years. Separately, U.S. house prices roared to their highest in nearly three years as demand remains brisk.

U.S. house prices roared to their highest in nearly three years as demand remains hot, especially in the west.  The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index rose 5.7% in the three-month period ending in January compared to the same period a year ago, an acceleration from its 5.5% yearly increase in December. The 20-city index was up 0.2% for the month, or a 0.9% gain when seasonally adjusted.

Yesterday BlackRock the world’s largest money manager said it would overhaul its actively managed mutual fund business, cutting jobs, dropping fees and relying more on computers to pick stocks in a move that highlights how difficult it has become for humans to beat the market.  The world's biggest money manager has faced active stock fund withdrawals and the revamp is its biggest attempt yet to engineer a turnaround.

Oregon and North Carolina may be sneaker blue bloods thanks to Phil Knightand Michael Jordan, but the University of South Carolina has the biggest footwear and apparel deal among the Final Four teams in the men’s college basketball tournament.  South Carolina will get roughly $8 million in cash and equipment from Under Armour this year, including roughly $4 million in cash and $4 million in gear.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones




 



U.S. stocks overcame steep losses yesterday but the Dow and S&P 500 still closed lower as investors reassessed the prospects for President Donald Trump’s ambitious economic agenda after a Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare was scrapped last week.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average marked its longest losing streak since August 2011 with eight straight declines.


Kudos to Sears Holdings Corp. for finally admitting what everyone already knew: it's almost dead.  Sears indicated in its newly filed annual report that "substantial doubt exists related to the company's ability to continue as a going concern." Sears' cash position has melted from a high point of $1.7 billion for the 2009 calendar year to a mere $286 million to close out 2016.  The company hasn't generated cash flow from its operations since 2006.

New vehicles in March were sitting on the dealer’s lot for about 70 days, the longest amount of time for any month since July 2009, according to research firms J.D. Power. During previous months, new cars hovered in the lot around 65 days. It takes dealers about a week longer to sell new cars than it did this time last year, said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at used and new car sales site Autotrader.com.
 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones



US Stocks were 1.5% lower last week the worst week since September after the failure of a vote on the Presidents health care bill.  The difficulty over the health-care bill is likely to serve as a wake-up call for investors who had bid up stocks in anticipation of more business-friendly and pro-growth policies from Trump.

Starbucks held their annual meeting last week where they announced plans to open 12,000 new stores globally over the next five years that will result in more than 240,000 jobs worldwide. That includes 3,400 stores, representing 68,000 jobs, in here in the U.S.  This was the last annual meeting of the long-time CEO Howard Schultz who has done a fabulous job running the company.

When Amazon began offering free two-day shipping to Prime members, that fast shipping time became the new expectation for many customers who were previously accustomed to waiting much longer for their packages.  Now, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is setting the bar even higher with initiatives such as Prime Now and Amazon Flex, which ship goods to you in two hours and in some cases promise one-hour delivery.  It is getting more and more difficult for brick and mortar retailers to compete.

The wealth and number of the super-rich fell for the first time since the Great Recession. The number of the world’s billionaires fell by 3% last year to 2,397, according to the “Billionaire Census.” Some 283 people or 10% of total billionaires lost their billionaire status in 2016

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones



Weekly jobless claims ticked higher, but the labor market remains healthy. Initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week showed an increase of 15,000 from the prior week to 258,000. Claims remain below 300,000. This marks the 80th straight week below 300,000, the longest stretch since 1970. (LPL Research)
 
New single-family home sales moved to a seven-month high in February, increasing 6.1% to an annual rate of 592,000 units. Sales are up 12.8% year-over-year. At last month’s sales pace, it would take 5.4 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, down from 5.6 months in January. The median price for a new home fell 4.9% to $296,200 from a year ago. There was a 3.7% drop in sales of existing homes in February.  (Reuters)
 
Are they contenders for the market timers’ hall of fame? That empty room in Paducah Kentucky. Some 34% of mutual fund managers say stocks are "overvalued," according to a Bank of America survey. That's the highest level in the 17-year history of the survey. Some 80% of fund managers polled say the USA is the most overvalued part of the world. (CNNMoney)
 
Join us this weekend for the Financial Focus Radio Show when we will tackle this question – “Is the market ready to tumble?”
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.
 



Nike reported earnings of 68 cents per share for the quarter on total sales of $8.4 billion. Revenue for the Nike brand was up 7%. Competition from Under Armour and Adidas are increasingly pressuring Nike's business. Particularly in the U.S. (CNBC)
 
Rising housing costs are shrinking demand for home loans or pushing buyers toward cheaper, adjustable-rate mortgages. Total mortgage application volume fell 2.7% last week and is 12% lower than a year ago. Home prices continue to rise far faster than incomes. As a result adjustable-rate loan applications have doubled to 9% of all applications since the election. That is the highest level since October 2014. Refinance applications are down 26% from a year ago. Loan applications to purchase a home are up 5% from a year ago. (Mortgage Bankers Association)
 
This could be the start of the end game for a once iconic retailer. Sears suppliers are reducing shipments and asking for more advantageous payment terms worried the company is about to fold.  This follows the retailer's statements in its annual report expressing doubts about its ability to stay afloat. (CNBC)
 
AT&T and Verizon have joined a growing number of companies pulling their advertising from Google over placements on objectionable content. (WSJ)
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



The streak has ended. The S&P 500 fell over 1% yesterday for the first time in 109 consecutive days. That falls short of the 110-day streak in early 1995, with the 112-day streak in 1985 next on the list. You have to go back to the 1960s for a longer streak. (LPL Research)

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index reached its highest level since 2000, hitting 97.6 in March, up from 96.3 in the previous month.

Leading economic indicators remain strong. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index rose 0.6% in February. The largest positive contributor for the month was the ISM new orders index, reflecting recent gains in manufacturing. The index accelerated to a 3.1% gain year over year, its highest growth rate since August 2015. The leading economic indicator index continues to point to a low chance of a recession in the next year. (LPL Research)

A third of all the J.C. Penney department stores in Oregon will close this summer as the company mothballs140 stores nationwide. Five of Oregon's 14 J.C. Penney locations will be closed. The Oregon stores closing are:
•Astoria
•Grants Pass
•La Grande
•Pendleton
•The Dalles

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



Business inventories increased by 0.3% in January from the previous month. Sales increased 0.2%. Inventories rose at retailers by 0.8% while sales increased 0.5%. Inventory growth was just 0.2% for the manufacturing sector. (Commerce Department)

Improving economic data points to more rate hikes. Data on initial claims for unemployment insurance, housing starts for February, and manufacturing for March were all solid and reinforced the Fed's view that the economy is improving. Unemployment claims remain near 43 year lows and have dropped by 19,000 over the past six months. Claims would have to rise by at least 75,000 over six months to indicate a recession. (LPL Research)

Heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has hired former U.S. Attorney General William Barr to help the company with an ongoing government investigation of its import and export practices. (Reuters)

British American Tobacco says demand for its "glo" tobacco heating device outstripped supply in its Japan test marketing.  Heat but not burn tobacco is rapidly gaining popularity in Japan. Philip Morris International has more than doubled the supply of its no burn devices but it was not enough to cover the demand. (Reuters)

The S&P 500 is up 1 and the NASDAQ is up 4.  The MSCI international index is lower.

Oil is up 25 cents at $49.01 a barrel.

Gold is up $2 at $1229 a Troy ounce.

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

 



US household net worth grew to a record $92.8 trillion in the last quarter of 2016, due in large part to gains in the stock market, according to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly financial accounts report.

Producer price inflation slowed in February, but the trend pointed to a steady building up of inflation pressures. The producer price index climbed 0.3% last month. In the last 12 months, the PPI is up 2.2%. (Labor Department)

The spread between high-yield corporate bonds, also known as junk bonds, and U.S. Treasury yields widened from 3.40% to 3.80% this week. Much of this move can be attributed to increased supply as junk bond issuers try to get ahead of the Fed rate hike. (LPL Research)

Does a lack of volatility mean complacency? The S&P 500 traded in a range of only 0.25% on Monday, the smallest range this year and one of the tightest ranges ever going back 50 years. Small ranges are nothing new, as the S&P 500 hasn't traded in a daily range of more than one-percent for 60 consecutive days, an all-time record. Additionally, the S&P 500 hasn't closed down by 1% or more for 105 consecutive trading days, tying the longest streak since late 1995. (LPL Research)

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



Oregon’s largest employer Intel has agreed to buy Israeli driverless technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion. That is a $63.54 per share cash deal.  Mobileye was founded in 1999. Mobileye employs 600 people. (Reuters)

Small business optimism is near its highest level in 43 years, according to the February National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index. The Index fell 0.6 points in February to 105.3. Three of the ten components increased, six declined modestly, and one was unchanged. Half of business owners expect better business conditions in the coming months. The job openings index reached its highest level since December 2000, but owners reported difficulty finding qualified workers. Twenty-six percent of small business owners reported raising compensation, one of the highest readings since February 2007. (NFIB)

U.S. shale oil producers will increase their output by 109,000 barrels a day in April, according to the Energy Information Administration. That will raise total output from the shale oil basins to 5 million barrels a day. Shale drilling started to recover in the second half of 2016. Oil prices hovered near three-month lows on Tuesday (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield hit 2.61% yesterday, the highest level in over two years on expectations the Fed will raise interest rates this week. (WSJ)

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

 



Big jobs report says the US economy added 235,000 jobs in February.  The private sector added 227,000 and government grew by 8,000. Unemployment rate stands at 4.7%.  (BLS)

There are 5.5 million open jobs in the U.S. economy. The labor force participation rate remains in long-term decline due to demographic factors after peaking in the early 2000s. The participation rate has moved up over the past few years after hitting a 35-year low in mid 2015. At 500,000 the number of discouraged workers in January 2017 was nearly 900,000 lower than at the peak in late 2009/early 2010, when there were 1.3 million discouraged workers. (LPL Research)

It has been a long slow decline, RadioShack has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in two years. The company is closing 200 stores and evaluating the remaining 1,300. No list of stores to be closed has been released. (AP)

Bottled water surpassed soft drinks to become the largest beverage category by volume in the US in 2016. Bottled-water consumption reached 39.3 gallons per capita last year, while carbonated soft drinks slipped to 38.5 gallons. (Beverage Marketing Corp)

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



Eight years ago, the S&P 500 closed at its lowest level of the financial crisis, marking the end of the worst bear market since the Great Depression, down 57% from the highs. Going back to WWII, this is now the second-longest bull market ever at 97 months, with only the bull market during the 1990s longer. The S&P 500 is up 250% since the 2009 lows. This ranks as the third-best return during a bull market since WWII, with only the 1950s and 1990s bull markets up more. (LPL Research)

U.S. employers cut 36,957 jobs in February, a 19% decline from the month earlier.  That is a 40% year-over-year decrease. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, employers said they would hire 166,266 workers in the first two months of 2017, the highest January-February on record. The retail sector once again planned the most cuts. The biggest cuts came from J.C. Penney, which announced it is laying off 5,500 employees.

Make that 101. The S&P 500 might have closed lower for the third consecutive day yesterday, but it has now gone 101 days in a row without a one percent close lower. That is the longest streak since 105 in late 1995. Interestingly, that year had two streaks of more than 100 days. Taking another look at back-to-back losses, the S&P 500 had gone 25 trading sessions without two red days in a row, the longest run since 25 last summer. (LPL Research)

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



Dish will be part of the S&P 500 as of next Monday. The satellite television company replaces Linear Technology, which is being acquired by chipmaker Analog Devices, another S&P 500 company. (CNBC)

The National Federation of Independent Business February 2017 Jobs report is out. It finds small business owners are eager to hire, but are struggling to find qualified workers. 52% of small business owners either hired or tried to hire in February, with 44% saying they found few or no qualified applicants.

In February, China had its first trade deficit in three years. A construction boom moved imports higher than expected.  This gives support to the view China's economy is picking up. (Reuters)

Total mortgage application volume rose 3.3% last week, but volume is 18% lower than a year ago. Refinance volume is off 34% annually. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.36%. Buyers are struggling to afford the homes and are turning to adjustable-rate loans, which offer lower interest rates. Last week the ARM share of mortgage applications reached its highest level since 2014. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

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



Non-manufacturing output grew in February for the 86th consecutive month, per the Institute of Supply Management. The institute's non-manufacturing index hit 57.6 in February, up from the previous month. The non-manufacturing business activity index increased to 63.6, the highest reading since February 2011.

We have not built a new oil refinery in this country since the early 1980’s.  In a helpful move, Exxon Mobil, will spend $20 billion, over the next several years, on refineries and petrochemical plants in the Gulf of Mexico region. (WSJ)

Proof taxes have economic and employment impacts. Philadelphia's soda tax has led to a big decline in soft-drink sales. Supermarkets have seen Coca-Cola sales fall 30% to 50% and Pepsi has seen a 40% in sales in the taxing area and a 10% to 15% increase outside the city.  This has led to Pepsi cutting 80 to 100 jobs in the area. That is about 20% of their beverage workforce. (CNBC)

Dick's Sporting Goods stock price fell more than 6% yesterday. Fourth quarter profits fell 30% compared to the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter hit $2.5 billion, compared with $2.2 last year. Shares of Dick's are up 18.7% in the last 12 months. (Market Watch)

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



The S&P 500 was up 0.6% last week, which was the first six-week win streak since late 2015. In fact, it was the fourteenth six-week win streak since the March 2009 S&P 500 lows. Looking at the previous 13 times this occurred, the S&P 500 was higher on average by 0.8% a month later and positive in nine of the 13 instances. (LPL Research)

Other than the February employment report, due out Friday, it's a relatively quiet week for U.S. economic data. It's also the unofficial quiet period for the Federal Reserve ahead of the March 14-15 Fed meeting. The overseas calendar is chock full of potentially market-moving events, including the EU leaders summit, a potential House of Lords vote on Brexit, the European Central Bank meeting, and China's National People's Congress, where Premier Li will provide government targets for the Chinese economy in 2017. (LPL Research)

Big Lots, ticker symbol BIG, reported a quarterly profit of $90.1 million. The discount retailer had sales of $1.58 billion in the period. For the year, the company reported profits of $152.8 million, or $3.32 per share. Revenue was reported at $5.2 billion. Big Lots stock is up 4% in 2017 and up 26% in the last 12 months. (AP)

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



Big down day yesterday.  If the Dow and S&P 500 fall today it would be the first back-to-back loss since January. But we are headed for another positive week. (CNBC)

 

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, is giving thought to more cost cutting and will not pay bonuses to executives after a weak end of the year and a slump in Brazil. (WSJ)

 

Costco missed sales and profit expectations in the latest quarter sending shares lower by almost 5%. There is a price war in the industry as Wal-Mart is running a new price-comparison test to force lower prices. Costco same-store sales rose 3%. Costco will raise its annual fees by $5 to $60 for Goldstar and business members and by $10 to $120 for executive members.  Prices will rise on June 1st. Membership fees account for about 72% of Costco's operating income. Costco profits fell 6% to $515 million, or $1.17 per share, in the latest quarter. (Reuters)

 

Caterpillar shares sold off 4% yesterday on news that federal authorities raided three of its facilities. The company says it believes the searches were related to a Swiss subsidiary and how they account for sales and taxes. (AP)

 

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus radio when we will get you up to speed on a crazy week.

 

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



U.S. consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 0.2% in January. Consumer spending increased at a 3.0% annualized rate in the fourth quarter. (Commerce Department)

In January, the PCE, also known as the personal consumption expenditures price index, climbed 0.4%.  That is the largest gain since February 2013. Over the last 12 months, the PCE is up 1.9%. That was the biggest year-on-year gain since October 2012. (CNBC)

Paychecks were a little heavier in January as personal income increased 0.4%.  But income at the disposal of households after inflation and taxes, fell 0.2%. (Commerce Department)

Hershey, maker of Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups is cutting 15% of workforce. At the end of 2016 the company had 16,300 full-time employees worldwide. (Reuters)

Make that 51 in a row. The S&P 500 has now gone 51 consecutive days without trading in a 1% or greater intraday range. That is far and away the most ever, with 34 consecutive days in 1995 the previous record. The S&P 500 hasn't closed down 1% for 96 straight days, the longest since 105 in 1995. Lastly, the S&P 500 has closed within 1.5% of the all-time high for 76 consecutive days, the longest such streak going back 45 years. (LPL Research)

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



The Trump rally just keeps rolling. The numbers for February are in and the Dow added almost 4.8%, the S&P 500 climbed 3.7%, and the Nasdaq jumped 3.75%. It was the fourth month in a row all the indices moved higher. (CNBC)

Who said being President was not profitable? Penguin Random House is paying former President Barack Obama  and First Lady Michelle Obama, $65 million for two separately written memoir books.  That sets a new record for U.S. presidential memoirs. (FT)

Costco is expected to raise its membership fees by nearly 10% in the next couple of months. The fee hike could be announced Thursday along with the company's second-quarter earnings report.  The company recently increased its membership fees by 10% in Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Mexico, and the UK. (Business Insider)

Home-improvement retailer Lowe's quarterly profits jumped 34% to 86 cents per share.  That came on sales rising 16% to $15.8 billion. Same-store sales jumped 5.1%. (Investor Business Daily)

Best Buy, the No. 1 U.S. electronics retailer, reported a decline in holiday-quarter same-store sales. Best Buy's same stores sales fell 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Best Buy's net revenue fell 1% percent to $13.48 billion. (Reuters)

S&P 500 is up 17 and the NASDAQ is up 33. MSCI International Index is higher.

Oil is up 25 cents at $54.23 a barrel.

Gold is down $12 at $1242 a Troy ounce.

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



With 492 S&P 500 companies having reported this week it effectively marks the end of fourth quarter earnings season. S&P 500 profit growth is a solid 7.7 %. Revenue growth is a very respectable 4.3%. (LPL Research)

New orders for "core" durable goods fell 0.4% between December and January, but the December reading, initially reported as a 0.7% gain, was revised up to show a 1.1% increase instead. The durable goods data are notoriously volatile month-to-month and subject to large revisions.  Looking at changes over three months can help to smooth out some of the inherent volatility, and in the three months ending January 2017, core durable goods orders rose 9%, a clear acceleration from the 4% gain posted in the three months ending October 2016. (LPL Research)

Home buyers signed 2.8% fewer contracts to buy existing homes in January month over month. The National Association of Realtors pending home sales index is 0.4% higher than January 2016.

The retailer Target fell short on quarterly profits posting a $1.45 per share. Sales declined for the sixth consecutive quarter. They also lowered their 2017 forecast. (CNBC)

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



Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, with Oregon connections by being the led investor in the cash infusion that saved Bank of the Cascades during the dark days of the financial crisis, is headed toward confirmation as Commerce secretary. The Senate is set to vote on his nomination tonight. (AP)

This guy ought to know. Warren Buffett told CNBC stock prices are "on the cheap side" with interest rates at current levels. He has put $20 billion into stocks since just before the presidential election. Buffett lead Berkshire Hathaway released its year-end results this weekend, telling investors that gains would continue to be "substantial" in the coming years and the U.S. economy would continue its "miraculous" boom. Berkshire's earnings were up nearly 15% in 2016 from the prior year. (CNBC)

Big data, the internet and globalization are helping to keep prices low. Wal-Mart is running a new price-comparison test in at least 1,200 U.S. stores and squeezing packaged goods suppliers in a bid to close a pricing gap with rivals like Kroger. (Reuters)

Sears opened a full-service auto care facility called DieHard Auto Center last week. Sears' auto service stop provides oil changes, tire replacement and vehicle repairs.  (Automotive News)

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



U.S. housing starts declined 2.6% to an annual rate of 1.25 million units in January. Homebuilding is up 10.5% from January 2016. Single-family homes, which accounts for the largest share of the residential housing market, climbed 1.9%. The volatile multi-family housing segment starts tumbled 10.2%. Permits for future construction jumped 4.6% for the month to a rate of 1.29 million units, the highest level since November 2015. Builders continue to grapple with shortages of skilled labor. (Commerce Department)

Industrial production contracted in January, weighed down by a sharp decline in utilities, a move that is more reflective of the weather than economic activity. Manufacturing grew 0.2% and mining, which includes oil and gas, jumped an impressive 2.8%. (LPL Research)

Kraft Heinz a U.S. food company which owns Heinz Ketchup and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has made an offer to merge with Dutch consumer goods company Unilever in a deal worth an estimated $125 billion. Unilever owns brand names Hellmann's mayonnaise, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Knorr soups. Unilever has declined the proposal. (Reuters)

Join us the weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will tackle the question … … “when will this bull market end?”

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



Increased spending at gas stations and restaurants in January, pushed up retail sales by 0.4%. Service station sales increased 2.3%, restaurants and bars rose 1.4%, and auto sales slipped 1.2%. Over the past 12 months, retail sales have risen 5.6%. (Commerce Department)

Consumer prices saw their biggest increase in nearly four years in January up by 0.6%.  In the last 12 months’ consumer inflation is up 2.5%, the biggest year-on-year gain since March 2012. Gas prices climbed 7.8%, accounting for nearly half of the rise in CPI. Food prices were up 0.1%, the cost of food consumed at home was unchanged, and the cost of medical care rose 0.2%.  (Labor Department)

 

Cisco Systems, a Dow component, beat street expectations on quarterly profits and matched on sales. The networking equipment maker got a boost from strong sales of its security-related products. (CNBC)

Kraft Heinz, the company behind Heinz Ketchup and Oscar Mayer products bested quarterly earnings and revenue expectations, but that is not helping the stock today.  The company saw its bottom line benefit from lower input costs and cost cutting from their merger in 2015.

 

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



Small business optimism rose again in January to its highest level since December 2004, according to the National Federation of Independent Business - Index of Small Business Optimism.  The Index reached 105.9. Five of the Index components increased and five decreased, but many held near their record high. The recent growth in optimism looks like the surge in the Index in 1983, which was followed by years of economic prosperity.

Producer prices rose in January by 0.6%. That is the largest gain in four years, but a strong dollar continued to keep underlying inflation tame. The PPI has increased 1.6% in the last 12 months. Prices for final demand goods increased 1%, the largest rise since May 2015. (Labor Department)

Total mortgage application volume is down nearly 31% from a year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home are 3% higher than a year ago and refinance volume is down 50% year-over-year and now stands at its lowest level since June 2009. With rising interest rates housing costs are moving borrowers to opt for adjustable-rate mortgages, which reached their highest level in over a year. (Mortgage Bankers Association)

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



Happy Valentine Day. The S&P 500 has risen only 40.9% percent of the time on Valentine's Day, compared to a historical daily rate of 52.1%. (CNBC)

The S&P 500 now has a market cap of $20 trillion crossing that mark for the first time ever. (CNBC) It is just 30 stocks but the exchange-traded funds that track the Dow Jones Industrial average have pulled in $2.6 billion in new assets so far in 2017, more than any other U.S. stock ETF. (WSJ)

The S&P 500 hit its 2016 low on February 11th and has since gained more than 26% since then. Over the past year, we've seen a massive global stock market rally, with financials, energy, and materials leading in the U.S. A year ago there were calls to "sell everything".  Another example why the market timers’ hall of fame” is an empty room in Paducah, KY. (LPL Research)

Japan Q4 gross domestic product data of plus 0.2% and 2016 GDP of up 1.0%, were modestly disappointing. Most telling was the miss in exports.

Apple posted a record closing high yesterday, which was last set a year ago in February 2015. (CNBC)

Oil is up 50 cents at $53.41 a barrel. Global demand for oil could outdo the ten-year average in 2017 as the health of the world economy improves. (OPEC)  

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


 



Chinese trade expanded both imports and exports.  The increase in exports suggests that the weaker yuan boosted exports. The data suggests an improving Chinese and global economy. (LPL Research)
 
Many oil market participants have questioned whether OPEC members would adhere to the production cuts agreed to at their November 2016 meeting. Saudi Arabia has actually reduced output more than they had agreed upon. This reduction has kept oil prices stable even as U.S. production has increased. (LPL Research)

Busy economic data calendar this week. Fed Chair Yellen's semiannual monetary policy testimony to Congress is the highlight. We will also get January CPI, retail sales, leading indicators, housing starts and industrial production. (LPL Research)

I think a revolution was launched in 1773 over the taxing caffeinated beverages.  The Democrat led Oregon House Committee on Revenue has introduced House Bill 2875 that would impose a five cent per pound tax on coffee beans.   Proceeds from the tax would go to some blackhole called the "Alternative Education Sustainability Fund.” (Willamette Week)

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



Initial claims for unemployment insurance remained pinned to 40-year-plus lows in the latest week, and continue to suggest that the labor market is tightening. Claims do provide a recession signal when they rise between 75,000 and 100,000 over a six-month period. Six months ago, claims were running in the 260,000 to 270,000 per week level. Over the last four weeks, claims have averaged 244,000 per week, so claims are running roughly 20,000 below six-month-ago levels and are not signaling a recession. (LPL Research)

After a slow start to fourth quarter earnings season, a solid 69% of S&P 500 companies have bested estimates, pushing the year-over-year earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 to 8.3%--nicely above the 6.1% consensus growth rate. Energy is poised to break earnings growth drought. It's been two years since the energy sector produced a year-over-year gain in quarterly earnings but is now tracking to +1%. (LPL Research)

Sears shares hit its lowest level since its merger with Kmart back in 2005, under $6/share on Thursday. There was no specific news to explain why shares fell. Today Sears is up over 20%, after announcing plans to cut debt and pension obligations by $1.5 billion this year. Sears was once one of America's leading retailers and an icon. (CNN)

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



Chinese foreign currency reserves fell last month to just under $3 trillion. While this is still a huge stockpile, China's reserves were roughly $4 trillion at their peak. Declining reserves call into question the government's ability to continue to support the yuan. (LPL Research)

European earnings growth for the fourth quarter is tracking in the mid-teens, ahead of the U.S. on rebounding energy sector profits and resilient economic growth in the face of political uncertainty. The macroeconomic outlook is still very much uncertain with elections coming up, particularly in France, and Greece back in the news. (LPL Research)

The US stock market is not yinging and yanging much.
The last time the S&P 500 closed down by at least 1% was 81 trading days ago on October 11th.  That's the longest stretch without 1% correction since 2006. The last time before that that there was such a long period of calm was 1995. (Bespoke Investment Group)

Whole Foods Market is shutting nine stores nationally.  The company has not provided a list of stores slated for closure. Whole Foods recorded a 1.9% sales increase in the quarter.  The company earned $95 million or 30 cents a share, down from $157 million or 46 cents last year. (AP)

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



The National Federation of Independent Business says small business hiring grew in December at an average rate of 0.15 workers per firm, the strongest result since September 2015. NFIB says 53% of small business owners hired or attempted to hire workers, up from 51% in November. Fifteen percent of small business owners said that finding qualified workers was their single biggest problem.

International trade unexpectedly narrowed in December. At $44.3 billion in December 2016, the nation's trade deficit on goods and services was smaller than the $45.7 billion deficit in November 2016. (LPL Research)

The makers of Cadbury, Oreos, Dentyne, Ritz and Tang, Mondelez posted quarterly profits of 47 cents per share, on sales below expectations. CEO Irene Rosenfeld said results were impacted by weakness in its business abroad. (CNBC)

Alaska Air, the nation’s fifth largest airline, posted a quarterly profit of $1.56 per share. Sales beat forecasts and the company increased its quarterly dividend to 30 cents per share. (AP)

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



It is a quiet week ahead for economic data and policy. With only some data from China. (LPL Research)

We will call fourth quarter earnings season good but not great. Earnings growth for the S&P 500 for the quarter are now tracking to 7.9%. Results have been driven by improvement in the energy sector, which is now tracking toward a 1% year-over-year increase. (LPL Research)

We have had time to dig into Fridays jobs report. It showed the economy is performing well enough to create lots of jobs, but not enough to cause wages to rise. Average hourly earnings-a timely but imperfect proxy for wage inflation-decelerated to a 2.5% year-over-year gain in January from the 2.8% reading in December. (LPL Research)

Hasbro posted sales that were up 11.2% to $1.63 billion, helped by strong demand for its Disney Princess and Frozen dolls. Hasbro said revenue from toys in the girl’s category jumped 52%. Global sales of its gaming products also rose 11%. That pushed profits upward to $192.7 million, or $1.52 per share, in the quarter, from $175.8 million, or $1.39 per share, a year earlier. (Reuters)

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



The Department of Labor says the US economy added 227,000 jobs in the first month of 2017.  Private sector added 237,000 jobs and government shed 10,000 jobs.  Unemployment rate stands at 4.8%. Wages grew 2.2% over the last 12 months.

Worker productivity remains well below average. Output per man hour, or productivity, posted a 1% year-over-year increase in Q4 of 2016, but is still well below the pre-Great Recession pace of 2.5-3.0% seen in the 10 years prior to 2007. Slow productivity growth combined with a slow growing labor force keeps the lid on the maximum pace of gross domestic product growth. (LPL Research)

Should you root for the Patriots? The Super Bowl Indicator claims that the stock market does better for the year if an original team from the NFL (NFC) wins versus a team from the AFC. When the NFC wins, the markets have been up 10.9% versus up only 4.3% if the AFC wins. Taking it a step further, when the Patriots have been in the Super Bowl (eight previous times), the full year gain has been only 0.3% with the return actually worse after they won. (LPL Research)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will talk about the importance of diversification in your wealth building efforts.

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



The manufacturing sector expanded in January with the Institute for Supply Management index hitting 56. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting. The overall economy has grown for 92 consecutive months. (AP)

Ahead of Fridays big government jobs report ADP
says private companies added 246,000 new workers to the payroll in January. Goods-producing companies hired 46,000 workers, the highest in two years. Construction added 25,000 jobs and manufacturing added 15,000 jobs. Services added 201,000 positions. Firms employing 50-499 workers added 102,000 jobs. Small businesses hired 62,000, while large companies hired 83,000 persons. (CNBC)

The Portland office of Walmart Labs is cutting eight of its 29 positions as part of their e-commerce business. Company-wide the company is cutting a total of 200 positions from the e-commerce organization. (PBJ)

Facebook exceed earnings and revenue estimates as ad sales grew 53%. (AP)

Royal Dutch Shell recorded its worst annual profit in more than a decade, as low oil prices continue to weigh on the industry. (CNBC)

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



The Federal Reserve ends a two-day meeting this afternoon with an announcement on interest rates. Don't expect a change to rates at this meeting, though the Fed's statement could shape expectations for the rest of the year. (AP)

Apple saw strong demand for the iPhone 7 with profits in the quarter up 8% to $3.36 a share, and sales increased 3% to $78.4 billion. Over the quarter, 78.3 million iPhones were sold, up 5% from a year earlier. Services revenue increased 19% in the quarter to $7.17 billion. (AP)

The employment cost index rose 0.5% in the final quarter of 2016. The ECI reflects how much companies, and governments pay their employees in wages and benefits. The index grew by 2.2% in 2016 and 2% in 2015. Wages represent about 70% of a company’s cost to employ its workers. Benefits rose 0.4%, marking the smallest increase in since the spring of 2015. (MarketWatch)

Whole Foods is shuttering its three commercial kitchens, which manufacture ready-to-eat meals for stores. Whole Foods is going to outsource food preparation. (WSJ)

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



Stocks dropped to close lower yesterday with the Dow logging its worst daily loss since mid-October as investors grappled with the latest policy decisions by President Donald Trump.  The Dow also dropped back below the 20,000 level.  Wall Street is also looking ahead to a heavy week of economic data, corporate earnings and the latest meeting by the Federal Reserve set to begin Today.

Americans spent more on new cars and other big-ticket items in December to finish the year on an optimistic note, though a key level of inflation hit the highest level in more than two years.  Consumer spending rose 0.5% last month, matching the estimate. That’s the biggest increase in spending in December since the last month of 2009, just as the U.S. began to emerge from the Great Recession.

Personal income advanced 0.3 percent last month after nudging up 0.1 percent in November. Wages and salaries rebounded 0.4 percent after slipping 0.1 percent in November. Income increased 3.5 percent in 2016 after rising 4.4 percent in 2015.

Shares of Fitbit Inc. plunged 17% to a record low yesterday after the company cut its fourth-quarter guidance and announced plans to lay off more than 100 workers.  Following “weaker-than-expected” holiday sales, Fitbit said it expects an adjusted loss per share of 51 cents to 56 cents in the quarter.  The company said it plans to lay off about 110 employees, or 6% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring of the business.

Shares of airline companies were knocked lower yesterday and are at a 2 month low amid concerns that the nationwide protests at airports in response to President Trump’s executive order to ban immigration from certain predominantly Muslim countries would curtail demand.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones



New home sales in December fell 10.4% to an annual rate of 536,000 homes. Sales totaled 563,000 in 2016, up 12.2% year over year their highest since 2007. (Commerce Department)

Bank of the Cascades fourth-quarter profits jumped 43% to $5.9 million. Net income for 2016 was $16.8 million compared with $20.6 million in 2015. In 2016 the BOTC paid $4.9 million in merger-and-acquisition expenses lowering profits. (PR Newswire)

All that Facebooking takes some juice. Prineville, the home to several large data centers for both Facebook and Apple is running low on electricity. That means plans for a proposed factory cannot be supported on the current power grid. The factory could provide 300 additional jobs if electricity can be provided. (Oregonian)

Microsoft posted a 3.6% jump in profits for the quarter making $5.2 billion. Revenue, excluding LinkedIn, was $25.838 billion.  Their LinkedIn division had revenue of $228 million in the quarter, equaling a loss of $100 million. Microsoft's shares re up 23.2% in the past 12 months. (Reuters)

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



Umpqua Bank, the largest bank based in the State, reported $24.8 billion in assets up 6% in 2016. Deposits climbed 7% to $19 billion. With low interest rates Umpqua's net interest income fell 3% in 2016 to $844 million. The bank had a Q4 profits of $0.27 per share. (PBJ)

Formerly one of the largest privately held companies in Oregon, door and window maker Jeld-Wen is looking to raise $452 million in an IPO. The IPO would value the company at about $2.4 billion. Jeld-Wen sold 58% of the company to a Canadian investment firm Onex in 2011 for $864 million. Onex moved Jeld-Wen's headquarters to North Carolina in 2015.
(Oregon Live)

Big boy toy maker Caterpillar, reported a loss fourth quarter of $1.17 billion or $2 per share. The company had revenue of $9.57 billion in the period. Caterpillar shares are up 6% in 2017 and up 69% in the last 12 months. The company says it will benefit from President Trump’s infrastructure-spending plan but those impacts won’t be seen before late 2017. (AP)

AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, reported quarterly profits of $2.44 billion, or 39 cents per share on revenue of $41.84 billion. Capital spending is estimated around at $22 billion in 2017. (Reuters)


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



Big rally yesterday as President Trump took jobs action. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted record closes. The Dow finished less than 90 points away from 20,000. (CNBC)

Home resales fell in December by 2.8% from the prior strong month. That is an annual rate of 5.49 million units.  Home sales of 5.45 million units in 2016 is the highest since 2006 and up from 5.25 million in 2015. The number of unsold homes on the market fell 6.3% from 2015 to 1.65 million units, the lowest level since 1999.  (National Association of Realtors)

The Wall Street Journal exposes more ethical rot at Wells Fargo.  It is reporting branch managers were warned at least 24 hours in advance of “surprise” internal inspections.

Boeing reported fourth-quarter profits of $1.63 billion or 2.59 per share. The airplane builder had sales of $23.29 billion in the quarter. Boeing shares are up 3% in 2017 and are up 29% in the last 12 months. (AP)

McDonald's is rolling out a revamped Big Mac tomorrow.  To celebrate they will give away 10,000 bottles of the Big Mac Special Sauce at participating locations around the nation. (USA Today)

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



Johnson & Johnson posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter profits but lowered their 2017 sales forecast. J&J profits came in at $1.58 a share. Sales for the quarter were $18.1 billion. (The Street)
3M, makers of Scotch tape and Post-it notes, reported quarterly results with profits of to $1.15 billion, or $1.88 per share. 3M's operating expenses fell 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Net sales fell 0.4% to $7.33 billion. The company gets more than 60% of its revenue from outside the United States. The company's stock is up 28% in the last 12 months. (Reuters)

Supermarket operator Kroger, owner of Fred Myers, will fill 10,000 jobs in 2017. This represents about 2% of Kroger's total workforce. Kroger had about 431,000 full- and part-time employees as of January 2016. The company hired more than 12,000 workers in 2016. (USA Today)

Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies diapers and Kleenex tissue reported fourth-quarter profits of $505 million or $1.40 per share. That comes on sales of $4.54 billion. Kimberly-Clark shares have climbed 2.5% since the beginning of the year, but the stock has fallen more than 6% in the last 12 months. (AP)

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



It is Inauguration Day!  Stock market are open today so free markets and democracy are the call of the day.

December housing starts leapt 11.3% to an annual rate of 1.23 million units.   November's starts were revised up to a 1.10 million-unit rate. (Commerce Department)

Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by 15,000 to 234,000 for the week. Claims for the previous week was 249,000. (Labor Department)

General Electric reported fourth-quarter profits of 46 cents per share on sales of $33.1 billion. Oil and gas revenue fell 22%, power systems revenue rose 20%, renewable energy revenue jumped 29%, and aviation rose 7%. (IBD)

Procter & Gamble, maker of Tide and Pampers reported profits of $7.88 billion, or $2.88 per share. Up from $3.21 billion, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier. P&G had sales of $16.85 billion. The company has been focusing on core brands, and sold 41 of its brands last year, including Clairol and Covergirl brands.  (Reuters)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when I will talk to our tax guru Greg Fowler and trusted insurance advisor Don Klippenes.

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



Januarys National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index fell 2 points. It stands at 67. The index was at 61 a year ago. All three of the index's components fell. Current sales conditions fell three points, sales expectations in the next six months fell two points, and buyer traffic fell one point. (CNBC)

Industrial production rose 0.8% in December.  With the cold weather the month saw the biggest jump in utilities since 1989. Industrial production fell at an annual rate of 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Manufacturing output edged up 0.2% and mining production was flat. Industrial capacity in use rose 0.6% in December to 75.5%. (Reuters)

Consumer prices climbed 0.3% in December. The CPI rose 2.1% in 2016 and was up 1.4% in 2015. Last month, gas climbed 3%, food prices were unchanged for a sixth straight month and the cost of food consumed at home dropped for an eighth consecutive month. (Reuters)

Rail carrier Union Pacific reported Q4 results. They had profits $1.39 per share up 6% from last quarter.  They had revenue of $2.0 billion, up 2%.  For all of 2016 profits were $5.07 per share a decline of 8%. Revenue totaled $7.3 billion, down 10%. (PR Newswire)
    
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Goldman Sachs had profits of $5.08 a share on revenue of $8.17 billion in Q4. A jump in trading helped spur the growth, with revenue from bond-related trading soaring 78.3%.  Goldman in 2016 employed 34,400 workers, 6.5% lower than last year. Goldman in Q4 had $1.5 billion in share buybacks. (CNBC)

The Ringling Bros. circus is closing after more than 100 years in operation. Before dimming the bright lights the Ringling Bros., will perform 30 shows between now and May. The cast of the circus is between 250 and 300 persons, with three performing units. The circus visits about 115 cities each year. Ringling Bros. was founded in 1884. The family ran the circus until 1967 when it was sold to Feld Entertainment. (CNN).

Target says same store sales declined 1.3% in the November-December period. The company expects fourth-quarter comparable sales to fall between 1.0% 1.5%.  Target saw December online sales growth of more than 40%. (Reuters)

S&P 500 is up 4 and the NASDAQ is up 8. MSCI International Index is lower.

Oil is down 90 cents at $51.59 a barrel. U.S. shale production will snap a three-month decline in February per the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as drilling activity increases with crude prices at 18-month highs.

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



Retail sales increased 4% in the holiday shopping season, better than expected. The number is higher than the 10-year average of 2.5% growth. Online shopping increased 12.6%. (National retail Federation)

The Index of Consumer Sentiment hit 98.1 in January. That is equal to December. (University of Michigan)

Wholesale prices rose 0.3% in December. The producer price index increased 1.6% in 2016. That's the biggest 12-month gain since September 2014, but still historically low. The biggest gains came in wholesale gas prices, up 7.8%. (Labor Department)

More consolidation in the tobacco world. British American Tobacco is buying the remainder of rival Reynolds American it doesn't already own.  The purchase price is a sweetened $49.4 billion. British American Tobacco already owns 42% of Reynolds American. (Reuters)

Growth in the phone market is not done yet. A new IHS Markit study says the global smartphone install base will grow 50% over the next four years to six billion devices.  Those smart phones will generate an estimated $355 billion in revenues.  

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



Earnings season starts today with the big banks.  Leading the way is Bank of America. They reported profits of 40 cents per share on revenue $19.99 billion. Net interest income increased 6% to $10.3 billion in the fourth quarter, while loan balances climbed by $19 billion to $915.9 billion. Bank of America's net charge-off ratio improved to a historic low of 0.39%. Total mortgage production rose 29% year-over-year. (CNBC)

China's exports decreased 6.1% in December.  For all of 2016 Chinese exports dropped 7.7% the biggest decline since 2009. Chinese imports declined 5.5%. (CNBC)

Your federal tax refund will most likely be delayed this year.  You will have to wait a few weeks longer to get your check as the IRS cracks down on fraud.
Tax filing starts January 23rd. Direct deposit e-filers historically received their refunds within 21 days. Now it will be more like 35 days. (AP)

Apple's iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 6s accounted for 31% of smartphone sales in the US for the three months ended Nov. 30. (Recode)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will talk about a President Trump and your stocks.

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



While the popular media seems obsessed with Dow 20,000 they are missing the real news. The Nasdaq hit another record yesterday working on its longest winning streak since early 2015. The S&P 500 closed just 2 points off a new high yesterday. (CNBC)  

J.M. Smucker is raising prices of its packaged coffee such as Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts by an average of 6%. Smucker is the biggest coffee roaster in the US. It is seeing sustained increases in green coffee costs. K-Cup pods were excluded from the price increase. (Reuters)

Wholesale inventories rose 1.0% in November. The largest gain in two years as inventory investment supports economic growth in the fourth quarter. Wholesale stocks of farm products surged 5.0%, petroleum climbed 2.7%, and machinery inventories fell 0.2%.(Reuters)

U.S. crude production is expected to rise by 110,000 barrels per day in 2017 to 9 million. US crude overall production was 8.95 million bpd last week, the most since April of last year. Domestic crude inventories increased by 4.1 million barrels last week. (Reuters)

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



The S&P 500 declined yesterday. The large-cap index fell just 0.0002 percent, the smallest move in almost two decades. (CNBC)

Wal-Mart will be giving hundreds of workers the boot in a fresh round of job cuts. The cuts will impact both store workers and employees at the company's headquarters. Many of the layoffs will be in its human resources department. This is the latest in a series of cuts as the company cuts expenses. In September, it cut 7,000 back-office jobs and in October 2015 it cut hundreds of positions at headquarters. (WSJ)

Taco Bell has come to Shanghai China. With more than 1,000 restaurants to be added by 2022. Yum China previously operated a handful of Taco Bell Grandes, but all closed by 2008. The China menu is different from America and include a shrimp and avocado burrito, spicy fried chicken, and Mexican fries. With more than 1.3 billion people and a huge emerging middle class, China represents massive growth opportunities for restaurant chains.  (WSJ)

Ford, the only US automaker not to be bailed out with your tax dollars, says they will not make as much money in 2017 as they did in 2016. Ford declared a special dividend of 5 cents per share in addition to its regular quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share. (CNBC)

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



Since the election of Donald Trump small business optimism has rocketed to its highest level since 2004. The National Federation of Independent Business Index of Small Business Optimism jumped to 105.8, an increase of 7.4 points. Leading the charge was “Expect Better Business Conditions,” which shot up from a net 12% in November to a net 50% in December. The other two big movers were “Sales Expectations” -  jumping by 20% and “Good Time to Expand,” up by 12%.

Oregon’s third largest bank, Eugene-based Pacific Continental, is merging with Tacoma, Washington based Columbia Bank in a deal valued at $644.1 million. The combined bank will have $12 billion in assets and more than 150 branches in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The deal is expected to close in mid-2017. (Portland Business Journal)

So much for holiday cheer. Hostess Brands is recalling its limited edition white peppermint Hostess Twinkies, because of Salmonella contamination. (CNBC)

Oil is up 15 cents at $52.15 a barrel. Last week, U.S. companies added oil rigs for a 10th week in a row, for a total of 529. Analysts project the U.S. rig count could rise to 850-875 by year end. (Baker Hughes)

Gold is down $3 at $1182 a Troy ounce. Gold has been on a roller coaster since the election of Donald Trump, first plummeting and then regaining ground. Gold has seen eight consecutive weeks of outflows selling, the longest outflow streak in three years. That is $6 billion selling out of gold in about two months. (CNBC)  

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



Companies start reporting Q4 earnings this week. The S&P 500 is expected to increase profits by 6.1% in the quarter. (Thomson Reuters).

The December average hourly wages climbed 10 cents to $26. That is a 2.9% annualized gain. The average work week was unchanged at 34.3 hours. (CNBC)

Investors bought $2.4 billion in U.S.-based stock funds last week. That is the second straight week of inflows. Taxable bond funds took in $1.2 billion during the week, following three straight weeks of withdrawals. (Lipper)

The British pound tumbled to $1.21 pounds to the dollar a two-month low. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said she is not interested in keeping "bits of membership" of the EU as part of their Brexit. (Reuters)

Yum China, spun off by its U.S. parent last year, is relaunching Taco Bell in China, after an almost 10-year absence. It opens a new Taco Bell in Shanghai today. (PR Newswire)

The iPhone celebrates its 10th birthday today.  (Mashable)

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



The big government monthly job report says the economy added 156,000 new jobs in December.  The private sector added 144,000 of those jobs – the balance were new government additions.  Unemployment rate is 4.7%. (Labor Dept.)

Employers cut 33,627 jobs in December in the US, up 25% from November's low.  Layoffs this December was up 42% from last year, which was the lowest monthly total in over 15 years. In 2016, companies posted 526,915 job cuts, down 12% from 2015. The top 5 job-cutting sectors of 2016 – energy, computer, retail, industrial goods, and financial. Texas, California, Arkansas, New York, and Illinois were the hardest states hit by layoffs. (Challenger, Gray & Christmas)

Stanley Black & Decker is buying Sears Craftsman tool brand for $900 million. Sears will continue to offer Craftsman-branded products through a perpetual license from Stanley Black & Decker. Stanley Black & Decker expects Craftsman to generate about $100 million of for the next 10 years. (Reuters)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will share with you the true secrets of building wealth.

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



President-elect Donald Trump has selected Jay Clayton to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Clayton worked on the high-profile initial public offering of Alibaba and is partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, specializing in public and private mergers. (CNBC)

Macy's had disappointing holiday sales and released the locations of 68 of the 100 stores it plans to close. Macy's sales fell 2.1% during the holiday season. The store closures are an attempt to reverse the downward slide in sales at its established stores. None of the new closures announced are in Oregon. Of the 68 stores closing, three were shuttered mid-year 2016, 63 will be closed in early spring, and two will be closed in the middle of the year. The retailer currently has 730 Macy's stores. Macys is down 10%. (Reuters)

Shares of Kohl's are down 14% as comparable same store sales were down 2.1% in November and December. The retailer lowered its earnings expectations for fiscal 2016 to $2.92 to $2.97 share, versus a previous guidance of $3.12 to $3.32 a share. (MarketWatch)

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



As the stock market rallies since Donald Trump was elected President, some are trying to lead you to making a silly move and sell your well diversified portfolio in a quest to enter the market timers hall of fame – that empty room in Padauka, KY -- don’t fall for it. No one can time the market the facts prove it.  But that is not stopping  Morgan Stanley from saying it's time to start thinking about getting out, possibly timed for Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20,. (CNBC)

The ISM's manufacturing index had a very strong December hitting 54.7, up a sharp 1.5 points from November for the best score in 2 years. New orders hit 60.2 for another 2 year high and up 7.2 points. Production up 4.3 points to 60.3, employment up 8 tenths to 53.1, and export orders at 56.0 which is a 2-1/2 year high. (Econoday)

Oil prices continue to move higher as demand increases and supply sees some constraints. This year is anticipated to bring the highest gasoline prices since 2012. US drivers could be collectively pay $52 billion more at the pump than they did in 2016. (USA Today)

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



First trading day of 2017, but let’s look back one more time at 2016. The NASDAQ was up 7.5% for the year and the S&P500 was up 9.54%.   The small cap Russell 2000 jumped a whopping 19.48% and the international index fell 1.88%.  The 10-year Treasury bond climbed 0.18% to close the year at 2.45%. (Bloomberg)

U.S. Steel will restart production at an idled plant and call back about 202 employees from layoff. It will restart the Keetac plant in Keewatin, Minnesota, more than 18 months after the company idled the facility. The Bloomberg Americas Iron/Steel Index soared 86% in 2016. Its biggest annual rise since 2003. (Bloomberg)

An Oregon business icon has passed. Bill Danner, the namesake of the Portland-based boot manufacturer died Christmas Eve. He was 97. He and his brother took over the struggling Danner Shoe Mfg. Company in 1945 from their father.  Bill Danner bought out his brother's stake selling the brand in 1983 to businessman Eric Merk. In 1994, LaCrosse Footwear bought Danner and Japanese ABC-Mart bought the businesses in 2012. Danner still operates out of its Portland headquarters. (OregonLive)

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



Happy New Year!

Markets are closed today to celebrate the holiday. But in the spirit of the new year let's reflect on last year and the lessons learned.

Markets have been on a tear sense the election. We are certainly due for a market correction. On average the market corrects at least 10% once or twice a year. But this does not mean the end of the world.

Stock markets started 2016 with about a 15% decline. It was the worst start to a year on record. But despite that record bad start to the year, markets gained double-digit returns for the entire year.

Lesson learned? Investors don't try to time the market, they believe in time in the market. We always say the market timers Hall of Fame is an empty room in Paducah Kentucky. It is almost certain that someone that sold in January 2016 and went to cash got back into the market later at a higher price. Not a good move.

Having a high-quality, well diversified portfolio is the answer to these corrections that inevitably come and go.

Make this your wealth building new year resolution. Don't try to be a market timer – be is smart investor and ride out the rough patches and be rewarded.

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



The Consumer Confidence Index hit 113.7 in December. Its highest level since August 2001. The increase in consumer confidence was due solely to increasing expectations which hit a 13-year high. Consumers' assessment of current conditions declined slightly.  Those saying business conditions are "good" was essentially flat at 29.2%. and those saying they are "bad" moved up from 15.2% to 17.3%. Those saying jobs are "plentiful" dipped to 26.9% and those saying jobs are scarce climbed to 22.5%. (The Conference Board)

 

Consumer spending in the final days of the Christmas shopping season offset a slow start.  Early holiday promotions and expectations among consumers that deals would always be available took a toll. Spending over the Thanksgiving weekend in November fell 3.5% from a year ago.  Brick-and-mortar sales in the week ending 12/24 rose 6.5% year-over-year.  November through Christmas Eve retail sales were up 4%.  (Reuters)

 

We should expect this in our consumption culture. More than half of Americans say they don't like at least one of the gifts they got for Christmas. The average cost of that unwanted gift is about $31 or $9.5 billion in total. Only one-quarter exchange the items, 20% regift them, and fewer than 5% donate their them to charity. (CNBC)

 

S&P 500 is up 1 and the NASDAQ is up 11. MSCI International Index is flat.

Oil is down 25 cents at $53.64 a barrel.

Gold is up $2 at $1141 a Troy ounce.



Today marks the start the year's final week of trading.  To prove you can’t judge a book by its cover 2016 stock markets got off to its worst start in history, but is now on pace to end the year with double-digit gains. (CNBC)

 

During the last days of the holiday shopping season consumers shifted their buying to online sources in record numbers. The primary beneficiary of this trend appears to be Amazon. Slice Intelligence found early online purchases going to the e-commerce giant Amazon with a 36.9% share of the market. Best Buy was second with a 3.9% market share followed by Target, with a 2.9%, Wal-Mart, with a 2.7% and Macy's, with a 2.5%. (CNBC)

 

The Index of Consumer Sentiment hit 98.2 in December. That is up from 93.8 in November. That is its highest level since January 2004. The report says 18% of consumers mentioned an expected favorable impact of Trump's policies on the economy. That's twice as high as the prior peak of 9 percent in 1981 when Ronald Reagan took office. (University of Michigan)

 

S&P 500 is up 1 and the NASDAQ is up 5. MSCI International Index is down 0.35%.  Oil is up 21 cents at $53.23 a barrel. Gold is up $10 at $1143 a Troy ounce. 



The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated further from the elusive 20,000 milestone, losing its drive ahead of the Christmas break.  US stocks are trading without much direction as we get closer to Christmas on very low trading volume.
 
The U.S. economy grew faster than previously thought between July and September, its best performance in two years, buoyed by stronger consumer spending, the government reported Thursday.  The Commerce Department said the economy expanded at a seasonally adjusted 3.5% annualized rate in the third quarter. This is above the government’s prior estimate of 3.2% due to upward revisions in consumer spending and business investment.
 
U.S. jobless claims jumped to the highest level since mid-June, the government said Thursday.  The Labor Department said jobless claims in the week ending Dec. 17 rose a seasonally adjusted 21,000 to 275,000. Economists had expected claims of 258,000.
 
Consumer spending growth in November slowed as incomes stagnated, and following several strong months of spending gains.  Personal incomes were unchanged for the month, and outlays rose 0.2%, the Commerce Department said Thursday.  The government also reported that inflation was unchanged in November. The median forecast among economists in a MarketWatch survey was for a 0.1% monthly increase.



U.S. stocks pulled back slightly on Wednesday as the “Santa rally” that has pushed equities to records stalled for the moment, keeping the Dow Jones Industrial Average just short of the 20,000 milestone.

Existing home sales were 15.4% higher than a year ago, and would have been even higher if there wasn’t somewhat of a housing shortage.  Currently there is only a 4 month supply of houses nationally at the current pace of sales, which is pushing prices higher.  The median price for a single family home nationally is $234,900 which is 6.8% higher than November of 2015.

FedEx posted profit on an adjusted basis of $2.80 per share for its second quarter, up from $2.58 a year earlier but below analysts forecast of $2.90/share. The company saw operating margins slide in its latest quarter, offsetting gains on expanding volumes tied to an e-commerce boom. Shares of the company, up 35% over the past 12 months, fell 3% to $193.49.

7-Eleven beats Google and Amazon to the first regular commercial drone delivery service in the U.S.  7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store chain, shared new numbers from its drone delivery experiment today. Seventy-seven customers in Reno, Nev., have now received items ordered from 7-Eleven delivered to their doorsteps via drone.  All 77 flights were from one store to a dozen select customers who live within a mile of the shop. 7-Eleven has partnered with the drone maker Flirtey for its delivery pilot.



Modest stock returns yesterday put the Dow within striking distance of the psychologically important milestone of 20,000, but meager trading and a lack of market-moving events, such as economic data, may provide little impetus for a breakout into the record books. Seasonally low trading volume can make stocks more susceptible to big swings.
Nike shares surged on news the athletic apparel giant topped Wall Street estimates for the quarter. Nike shares rose 3.5% to $53.61. The company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of 50 cents a share on revenue of $8.18 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of 43 cents a share on revenue of $8.09 billion.  Results would have been even better if it hadn’t been for the strong US Dollar.
2016 was a banner year for the US economy. Housing prices overall have now fully recovered from their lows during the financial crisis, consumer confidence is up and stocks are at all-time highs.  But Oregon stood out from the rest as the most economically improved state in 2016, according to new data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.  The Beaver State edged out Utah with a 12.43 point jump in its coincident index, a metric showing the current state of economic activity within a particular area.

To satisfy antitrust concerns, Walgreens and Rite Aid will sell 865 Rite Aid stores to Fred’s Pharmacy for $950 million in cash.  “The agreement is being entered into to respond to concerns identified by the (Federal Trade Commission) in its review of the proposed acquisition of Rite Aid by Walgreens Boots Alliance, which was announced in October 2015.  Fred’s operates stores in 15 southeastern states. The deal makes sense for Fred’s to buy some Walgreens operations because the management team at Fred’s knows the Walgreens operations and its real estate quite well. Fred’s CFO Rick Hans was a top finance and real estate executive at Walgreens for more than 25 years and helped develop more than 250 Walgreens stores.

2017 may be the year to travel to Europe as the Euro approaches parity with the US Dollar.  The euro now stands at 1.03 vs the greenback.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones



U.S. stocks advanced modestly yesterday with investors somewhat reluctant to make big bets in a preholiday week while the main benchmarks were sitting near all-time highs set last week.  Trading volumes were thinner than usual, with the New York Stock Exchange reporting volume at 60% of normal.

In her first speech after raising interest rates last week for only the second time this decade, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said signs of a healthy job market abound, including steady job creation, a low layoff rate and more job openings. But Yellen also noted the economy is growing more slowly than in past recoveries and productivity growth “has been disappointing.”

Shares of Walt Disney were up 1.3% after “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” hauled in an estimated $155 million in the U.S. and Canada at the box office over the weekend. Ticket sales were the second-biggest ever for a December opening.

Top executives of hedge fund Platinum Partners were arrested yesterday morning and charged with defrauding investors in one of the biggest such cases since Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.  As recently as this fall, Platinum told investors it oversaw more than $1 billion scattered in eclectic investments like loans to bankrupt companies and thinly-traded pharmaceutical stocks. It boasted one of the steadiest performance track records in the hedge-fund industry, with no down years for its funds.  More proof that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

President-elect Donald Trump's ambitious plans to revive exports, return jobs to the United States and increase oil drilling are running up against a home-grown threat:  The surging U.S. dollar.  Since the Nov. 8 election, the dollar has shot up 5 percent. An index that tracks the dollar against other major currencies reached a 14-year high after the election.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I’m Tyler Simones


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