Lars Larson


Lars Larson

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Business News Archives for 2017-10

The Commerce Department says consumer spending jumped 1.0%, its biggest increase in more than eight years. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. Consumer spending in September was lifted by motor vehicles, as hurricane victims replaced destroyed automobiles.  

The Federal Reserve's inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, was up 0.1%. The PCE is up 1.3% in the last 12 months.  

Personal income rose 0.4% in September. Wages were up 0.4%. Savings fell to $441.9 billion in September from $521.4 billion in the prior month. (CNBC)

The first half of earnings season has been good relative to expectations. Earnings are tracking near a 7% year-over-year increase, 2% above prior expectations, with a solid 74% of companies having beaten estimates. Growth has slowed from the last two quarters, due partly to the impact of insured hurricane losses. Strong upside and big increases in technology and energy earnings have offset financials weakness. Solid earnings outlook continues to support U.S. stocks even at elevated valuations. This week 135 S&P 500 Index companies will report results. (LPL Research)

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

U.S. stocks are slightly lower as we await the latest batch of corporate earnings and economic data. Earnings season continues in full swing, with a number of major brands gearing up to publish their latest financial figures. Mondel?z International, AvalonBay, Texas Roadhouse and Dominion are some of the names set to issue their latest earnings reports.
It is merger Monday. Big homebuilder Lennar agreed to buy homebuilder CatAtlantic for $9.3 billion, creating the largest U.S. homebuilder. For-profit colleges Strayer and Capella agreed to merge in a stock-swap deal. (CNBC)
Climbing oil exports from Iraq are dampening gains in oil prices. But there are expectations that the OPEC production cuts will be extended past its deadline of March 2018. (Reuters)
Platinum is down 0.2% to $912.70 an ounce, while palladium is up 0.4% to $969.22 an ounce. (CNBC)
Apple moved to stop concerns of low demand for its iPhone X, saying pre-orders for the 10th anniversary phone were "off the charts." (Reuters)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

The Nasdaq is in rally mode following solid results from Amazon, Alphabet aka Google, and Microsoft. The booming growth from three of the world's biggest companies will surely further enthuse investors. The tech giants added a combined $80B in market value in AH trading, with Alphabet and Amazon's stocks both surging past $1,000 on strong 3Q results. (SA)


In other earnings news, AbbVie, the maker of the world's top-grossing drug, Humira, posted third quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations and announced bullish financial targets.  Meanwhile, pharmaceutical giant Merck blamed an international cyber attack that shut down parts of its operation as it reported third quarter sales that were short of estimates from the Street. (FT)


Shares of pharmaceutical chains and drug wholesalers are looking sickly after the President's declaration that opioids are a public health emergency and a report that Amazon has secured wholesale pharmacy licenses.  Shares of health insurer Aetna jumped on Thursday, following a report that it was in talks about a possible deal to sell itself to pharmacy chain CVS. (WSJ)


Finally, third quarter GDP numbers are just out, and the US economy continued to grow at a steady clip during the third quarter, exceeding expectations despite the disruptions caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Gross domestic product grew at a 3 per cent annual rate in the July to September period, that was above economists' estimates for growth of 2.5 per cent (FT).


The S&P 500 is up 6 and the NASDAQ is up 44. The MSCI international index is down 7/100 of a percent

Oil is down 26 cents at $52.38 a barrel.

Gold is down $4 at $1265 a Troy ounce.


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

The European Central Bank has unveiled plans to reduce the pace of its mass bond-buying program next year, announcing that it will buy €30bn-worth of assets a month for at least the first nine months of 2018 to keep the Euro area’s recovery on track.  The eagerly-awaited decision marks a retrenchment from the region’s bond markets, where the ECB has been the most active investor since the program, known as quantitative easing, began.  (FT)


A couple more earnings reports from this morning and after yesterday’s close:  AB InBev, the brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona, and 10 Barrel reported higher profit in the third quarter despite lower beer volumes as hurricanes hit the US market. (WSJ)  Bristol-Myers Squibb, a leading maker of cancer immunotherapies, narrowly missed Wall Street forecasts for third quarter earnings, but posted revenues ahead of expectations. (SA)


Asia is now home to more of the world’s billionaires than the US for the first time in history, according to research published on Thursday.  Powered by the rise of super-wealthy Chinese entrepreneurs, the number of Asian billionaires rose by 117 to 637 last year, while membership of the US billionaires club reached 563 after gaining 25 net new joiners, according to the report by UBS. (FT)


S&P 500 futures are up 2 and NASDAQ futures are down 3. The MSCI international index is up 7/100 of a percent.

Oil is up 4 cents at $52.22 a barrel.

Gold is down $3 at $1276 a Troy ounce.


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

After yesterday's big day on the Dow, we've got a slew of new earnings reports this morning:  Visa grew its revenues and profits at a more rapid clip than Wall Street forecast in its latest fiscal quarter, driven by growth in payment processing and the purchase of Visa Europe that closed last June.  The $250bn credit card processor said its fourth quarter net revenues climbed 13.9% to $4.9bn. (FT)


Defence group Northrop Grumman posted upbeat quarterly results driven by higher demand for its manned aircrafts and lifted its earnings outlook again. (WSJ)


Coca-Cola shares were flat in premarket trading, as the company reported sales dropped less than feared in its latest quarter.  The world's largest maker of fizzy drinks said sales fell 15 per cent to $9.1bn in the three months to the end of September (FT)


Finally, Boeing has raised its earnings and cashflow guidance for the second time in six months after beating market expectations in the third quarter.  Boeing is lifting its forecast for full-year cashflow to $12.5bn as a result of "improved performance" on the back of cost reductions in its aircraft programs and higher production rates. (SA)


The prospect of a more hawkish US central bank is setting the pace in the US debt market for a second successive day.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury is up almost 3 basis points at 2.45 per cent today, its highest since March . The yield, which rises when the price of the bond falls, is an important benchmark for global financial markets. Late yesterday, the yield broke through an important psychological threshold of 2.4 per cent that has been treated as a "line in the sand" for much of the year. (FT)


S&P 500 futures down 4 and NASDAQ futures are down 13. The MSCI international index is up 1/100 of a percent.

Oil is down 18 cents at $52.29 a barrel.

Gold is down $4 at $1274 a Troy ounce.


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

We're in the thick of earnings season this morning:


GM handily beat earnings expectations before the bell, but the Detroit automaker also reported production down 26 per cent for the third quarter, reflecting factory shutdowns due to model changeovers, but also softer demand in the US market which GM predicted could have its weakest year since the 2008-09 recession (FT).


Caterpillar shares rallied in pre-market trading this morning after the maker of construction and mining equipment lifted its full-year outlook and posted upbeat quarterly results citing strength in North American on-shore oil and gas markets, Chinese construction and investments by miners. (FT)


McDonald's global same-store sales climbed 6 per cent in the three months to the end of September, eclipsing analyst forecasts and reaffirming that the world's largest burger chain's turnround is on track. (FT)


In other earnings news this morning, 3M, United Technologies, and Eli Lily all topped estimates and raised guidance, while Lockheed Martin missed slightly, but still revised guidance higher (FT). 


Over in the debt markets, Venezuela has now missed $586M in payments tied to the debt of the government, state oil giant PDVSA, and utility Electricidad de Caracas, just days before the first of two can't-miss debt deadlines.  Sovereign debt investors will be a keeping a close eye on that one this week (SA).


S&P 500 futures up 5 and the NASDAQ futures are up 7. The MSCI international index is up 4/100 of a percent

Oil is up 29 cents at $52.19 a barrel.

Gold is down $3 at $1278 a Troy ounce.


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

Investors will hear Q3 results from 189 members of the S&P 500 in the coming days, marking the biggest week of earnings season and one that is sure to move markets. The group also includes 12 of the 30 companies that make up the Dow industrials. As the market rambles on, October is shaping up to be one of the best months of the year. The Dow is up about 4% for the month, suggesting that stocks could end the year with some serious momentum. (SA)


Shinzo Abe's convincing election victory lifted Japanese stocks to their highest in 21 years, with the prime minister on track to become Japan's longest-serving leader. The super majority will extend the lifespan of "Abenomics," allowing the BOJ to continue with massive monetary easing, even as the Fed seems determined to hike rates again in December. (FT)


Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser has sad the oil giant's initial public offering remains on track for the second half of 2018.Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company, plans to list its shares on the Saudi domestic stock market, as well as one or more foreign exchanges. However, it has yet to choose the overseas market, fueling continued speculation about the kingdom's plans. (CNBC)


S&P 500 futures are up 2 and NASDAQ futures are up 11. The MSCI international index is down 3/100 of a percent.

Oil is up 19 cents at $52.03 a barrel.

Gold is down $5 at $1276 a Troy ounce.


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

With 52 S&P 500 Index companies having reported, beat rates for earnings (82%) and revenue (73%) are excellent so far, with the average company reporting a 5% upside earnings surprise. While the pace of earnings gains is slowing--largely hurricane driven--we are encouraged by the slight increase over recent weeks of S&P 500 consensus earnings estimates and expect re-acceleration in Q4. (LPL Research)

The Dow closed above 23,000 for the first time in history this week. Along the way it was the 51st new all-time high of the year; only one away from the 52 new highs made in 2013. Looking at milestone 1,000 point intervals, the Dow has now cracked 20,000, 21,000, 22,000, and 23,000 so far in 2017. No other year ever made more than two milestones, making the four this year a new record. Of course, as the Dow goes higher the percentage move needed to make new highs gets smaller. (LPL Research)

The Labor Department said initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to 222,000 for the week. A level not seen since 1973. It marked the 137th consecutive week that claims remained below the 300,000 level. Continuing claims have been below the 2 million mark for 27 straight weeks, the lowest level since January 1974. (CNBC)

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

October 19, 1987, 30 years ago today, the Dow plunged 508 points or about 23% in one day. An equivalent Black Monday drop today would push the Dow down about 5,000 points. (CNBC)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) has ordered Wells Fargo to pay more than $3.4 million in restitution for selling customers “unsuitable” volatility-linked exchange-traded products and for failure to supervise its reps. (ETF Advisor)

The Commerce Department reported homebuilding fell to a one-year low in September as housing starts decreased 4.7%. Building permits fell 4.5%. Single-family home starts fell 4.6%. Multi-family housing starts fell 5.1%.

This could impact markets. President Trump will announce his choice for chair of the Federal Reserve on November 3rd before departing for an 11-day trip to Asia. (LPL Research)

WD-40 Company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.49 per share, payable October 31st. The company will release quarterly results after the closing bell. (PR News Wire)

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

The Labor Department says U.S. import prices for September jumped 0.7%. In the last 12 months import prices climbed 2.7%. Prices for imported oil increased 4.5% and food prices surged 1.8%. Export prices rose 0.8%. Export prices increased 2.9% year-on-year.

Industrial production rebounded in September rising 0.3%.
Capacity utilization rose to 76%. Industrial production fell at a 1.5% annual rate in Q3, but the index would have risen at least 0.5% if not for the hurricanes. (Market Watch)

The National Association of Home Builders sentiment index rose 4 points to 68, the highest level since May. Homebuilders cited the labor shortage nationwide as their greatest barrier. Builders are also seeing more demand stemming from the very short supply of existing homes for sale. (NAHB)

When the most recent recession began in December 2007, the number of unemployed people per job opening was 1.9. When the recession ended in June 2009, there were 6.1 unemployed people per job opening. The ratio peaked at 6.6 unemployed people per job opening in July 2009 and trended downward until reaching now historic lows of 1.2 unemployed per job opening. (BLS)

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

Thursday will mark the 30th anniversary of Black Monday when the stock market lost almost 25% of its value in one day. Could the 1987 crash happen again? Conditions are very different today than they were in the days leading up to the 1987 crash. The stock market is on a much stronger fundamental foundation today, making another crash extremely unlikely. The latest rally has not been nearly as steep as 1985-1987, interest rates are much lower today, and sentiment is not as frothy. (LPL Research)

Earnings season is off to a good start, though early stats are a bit misleading. The beat rates for both earnings and revenue are very strong so far, both at over 80%. Since October 1, energy has produced the most upside to third quarter estimates, while financials have produced the most downside. This week 55 S&P 500 companies will report. (LPL Research)

Nordstrom has suspended attempts to take the U.S. department store private because of difficulties in arranging debt financing. (Reuters)

Drive-in restaurant chain Sonic reported quarterly profits of 45 cents per share, beating estimates by 2 cents. Same-restaurant sales declined due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey. (CNBC)

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

The S&P 500 has posted five straight weekly gains and is on track for a seventh straight positive month. The Nasdaq posted a record closing high Friday. 10% of the S&P 500 reports earnings this week. (CNBC)

Oil is sharply higher as Iraqi forced entered the oil city of Kirkuk, taking territory from Kurdish fighters and raising concerns over exports from OPEC's second-largest producer. (Reuters)

The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 101.1 in October. That is its highest level since the start of 2004.

The Commerce Department says U.S. retail sales rose 1.6%. It was the biggest increase in 2 1/2 years.

The Labor Department says the Consumer Price Index jumped 0.5% in September. It was the biggest increase since January.  Year-on-year gain of the CPI is 2.2%. Gas prices surged 13.1% accounting for 75% of the CPI increase. Last month, food prices rose 0.1%, rental accommodations rose 0.2% and new car prices fell 0.4%.

70 days till Christmas and Macy's stores will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving like last year. (CNBC)

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

Well we have kicked off earnings season. There are several reasons to be optimistic about third quarter earnings season, including healthy manufacturing activity globally, resilient estimates, the relatively low proportion of negative pre-announcements, and U.S. dollar weakness. Consensus is now calling for a 9% year-over-year drop in bank earnings for the quarter, making this week's big bank results particularly important. (LPL Research)

The Labor Department said prices at the wholesale level climbed as the PPI rose 0.4% in September. The index has risen 2.6% over the past 12 months. September's burst of inflation is likely the result of oil refineries curtailing due to Hurricane Harvey. Gasoline prices surged 10.9% in September. For producers, food costs were unchanged last month, motor vehicle costs rose and computer chips fell in price.

The Fed released the minutes of its September Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The minutes showed a continued debate among members on below-target inflation, but the majority opinion continues to be that with unemployment so low, it may be more dangerous to wait to hike rates. A rate hike is expected in December. (LPL Research)

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

The Japanese stock market closed at its highest level since December 5, 1996 on Tuesday. Driving the recent gains have been strong earnings, an improving economy, and loose monetary policy. This is yet another global equity market that is breaking out to multi-year highs, further supporting our view that the global bull market is alive and well. For some stock market trivia, December 5, 1996 is the same day as Alan Greenspan's "irrational exuberance" speech. (LPL Research)

JPMorgan Chase reported Q3 profits well above Wall Street estimates, but the stocks is down as investors focused on a big drop in trading revenue. (CNBC)

AT&T third quarter results were negatively impacted by the hurricanes and earthquake in Mexico. They said the impact was two cents per share. AT&T also lost 90,000 video subscribers during the quarter, due to heavy competition. (CNBC)

Citigroup reported better-than-expected quarterly results with EPS of $1.42 and sales of $18.173 billion. Both were better than expected. A decline in fixed-income trading was offset by an increase in equity trading revenue.  (Reuters)

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

The NFIB reported that its Index of Small Business Optimism fell from 105.3 in August to 103 in September. The decline was prompted by a sharp dip in expected sales. The percentage of small business owners expecting improved sales over the next three months fell from 27% in August to 15% in September, while the number of owners who believe the present is favorable for expansion fell by 10 points.

MediaPost reports their data shows that digital ads have finally “overtaken TV” as the largest ad medium, although “offline” non-digital ads still have the largest spend. Digital ads should command $84 billion this year, up 16% from 2016. Trend line data suggests digital ad sales will hit nearly $101 billion by 2019, passing offline sales expected to be around $93.5 billion that year.

Wal-Mart forecasts U.S. online sales will increase by 40% and overall sales by 3% in 2018. It will buy back $20 billion of its shares over the next two years. (Reuters)

Delta Air Lines, the number two U.S. airline, reported earnings per share of $1.57, about 8% lower than a year earlier. The had quarterly revenue of $11.06 billion. Delta's passenger revenue per available seat mile rose 1.9%.  (Reuters)

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

Third quarter earnings season kicks off this week as several big banks are slated to report. We expect another solid quarter of earnings growth, but a third straight double-digit increase for S&P 500 profits appears unlikely due to hurricane impacts, tougher comparisons, and a lack of contribution beyond technology and energy. (LPL Research)

According to the Seattle Times Horizon Air canceled more than 700 flights in September. Horizon has a pilot shortage and cut its schedule from September through at least January. Horizon Air serves 45 cities in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Utah, as well as Alberta and British Columbia.

Nordstrom was considering a sale of the company, but that deal may be falling apart. It appears the Nordstrom family is having trouble getting financing for the deal. (CNNMoney)

The U.S. dollar is near the low end of its three-year range, but we believe there are reasons to expect the greenback to begin to bounce back. The Federal Reserve is increasing rates faster than most other major banks, which could provide a fundamental reason to expect a stronger currency. (LPL Research)

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


The S&P 500 Index hasn't had a single month of negative returns in 2017. That's NEVER happened through a full calendar year. If history tells us anything, this probably won't keep up. (Hartford)

For fiscal 2017 Costco earned $5.89 per share on sales of $129 billion, up almost 9% year over year. Same-store sales rose 3.8%. E-commerce sales were up 13%. Next year, Costco plans to open 25 net new stores, about two-thirds of which will be located in the United States. Costco shares are up about 4% year to date. (Seeking Alpha)

A little more on that September jobs report. Hurricane impact leads to first monthly job loss since 2010. U.S. payrolls fell 33,000. At the same time, the unemployment rate dropped from 4.4% to 4.2%, the lowest level since February of 2001. Wage gains accelerated, rising 0.5% month over month and 2.9% year over year. The hurricane impacts are clear with 1.47 million people reportedly unable to work due to bad weather (worst in more than 20 years), we also saw a sharp 100,000 decline in restaurants and bars employment. (LPL Research)

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

Labor Department says the economy lost 33,000 jobs in September.  Unemployment rate fell to 4.2%.

The S&P 500 has closed at record highs six straight days, its longest run since 1997. It is also on an eight-session win streak, its longest in more than four years. If it rises for a ninth straight day, it would be the longest win streak since November 2004. (CNBC)

Beneficial State Bank is merging with Portland-based Albina Community Bank.  Beneficial State has owned a majority share of Albina since 2013. Beneficial State Bank is based in Oakland, Calif. with branches in California, Oregon and Washington and a second administrative office in Portland. It is a certified B Corporation, who’s goals are to promote social justice and environmental sustainability. (PBJ)

U.S. factory orders increased by 1.2% in August, driven by strong gains in aluminum and other metals, industrial machinery and autos. U.S. manufacturing is benefiting from a stronger dollar and an improving global economy. Orders for metals rose 1.2% and industrial machinery orders rose 11.5%. (FBN)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio on this great station.

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


Here comes the fourth quarter. Q4, is historically a strong time for equities. Going back to 1950, this quarter has been up 3.9% on average and higher nearly 80% of the time--both are far and away the best out of the four quarters. (LPL Research)

United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx  stock prices are sharply lower in early trading as Bloomberg reports say Amazon is experimenting with a new delivery service, which will directly compete with the two delivery service companies.

A new study by the firm David Gardiner and Associates shows U.S. manufacturers want more renewable energy and are willing to push for policies that support it. Among the major companies surveyed, General Motors, Dow Chemical, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Owens Corning, P&G and Mars are among the companies that over the past decade have bought more renewable energy than before.

This is an interesting protest -- a person dressed as the Monopoly guy, complete with a top hat, bushy white mustache, monocle and dabbing his forehead sweat with giant paper money, sat in the audience of the Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Equifax data breach yesterday. (CNBC)

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

The European Commission has moved to refer Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover up to €13B of illegal state aid from Apple.  In a parallel case, Europe's competition chief said Luxembourg must collect around €250M of back taxes from Amazon, adding to a growing list of scalps for Margrethe in an EU crackdown on tax loopholes. The Commission has currently turned its attention towards McDonald's. (SA)

The pace of hiring in the private sector slowed to its weakest pace in 13 months during August, as Hurricane Irma and Harvey disrupted businesses across a large swath of the southeastern US.  Non-farm private employers added 135,000 jobs from August to September, according to a report from payroll processor ADP. That is less than market expectations for a gain of 140,000 jobs; and significantly lower than last month‘s reading of 236,000 new jobs. (FT)

Uber will accept an investment from Japan's SoftBank joining a growing portfolio of U.S. technology deals made by the intrepid Japanese mogul Masayoshi Son. The investment will add just over $1bn to Uber’s cash horde. The company’s last-reported valuation is just shy of $70bn. UBER's board has also agreed to governance changes that limit the influence of former CEO Travis Kalanick, and an IPO deadline in 2019. (SA)

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




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