Rush Limbaugh

ON AIR NOW

Rush Limbaugh

9:00am - 12:00pm

Contact
Business News Archives for 2017-02


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.
 


Traffic

 

 

  • Click on the link for the latest conditions on the mountain passes.

 

  • Purcell Boulevard Northbound lane between Neff Road and Full Moon Drive (West side of the hospital) is closed until December 20th.

 

  • Nels Anderson Road between Nels Anderson Place and Brandis Court, single northbound shoulder closure will be in effect, two-way traffic to be maintained. Project completion expected December 2017.