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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

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