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.