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Business News Archives for 2018-01


Despite the blood moon eclipse earlier markets are in the green this morning following a two-day sell-off that shaved a good chunk off some big January gains. The Dow and S&P are still on track for their biggest monthly gains since March 2016, the Nasdaq since October 2015. (CNBC)

With 133 S&P 500 companies having reported, fourth quarter earnings for the S&P 500 are tracking to a 13.2% year-over-year increase. A solid 80% and 82% of S&P 500 companies have exceeded earnings and revenue targets, respectively. This week 118 S&P 500 companies will report. (LPL)

The Federal Reserve makes its interest rate decision and policy statement this morning after a two-day meeting. It is  Janet Yellen's final meeting as Fed chair. (CNBC)

The Eugene Register-Guard newspaper has agreed to sell  to GateHouse Media. The Register-Guard has been owned and operated by the Baker family since 1927. GateHouse Media publishes 630 community publications in 38 states. The deal will close on March 1st. The Register-Guard has 240 employees with a daily print circulation of about 37,500. (OBM)

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



The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note surged to 2.716% this morning to its highest since April 2014. (CNBC)

The Commerce Department says orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 2.9% in December. Orders for durable goods, which are meant to last at least three years, have risen in four the last five months.

The first release of fourth quarter GDP showed an increase of 2.6%. An inventory drag, possibly hurricane related pulled the number lower. Trade was also a drag-import growth strongly outpaced export growth and widened the trade deficit. (LPL)

The inflation component of the GDP report showed a pickup in inflation. Core personal consumption expenditures excluding food and energy, rose 1.9%. (LPL)

Intel says its shareholders can expect a $1.3 billion windfall in 2018 from the Trump tax bill. Half that will be given to shareholders through a 10% increase in the company's dividend.

K-cup maker Keurig Green Mountain will buy soda maker Dr. Pepper Snapple. (AP)

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



The S&P 500 finished at its thirteenth new high so far this month yesterday. This is already the most new highs ever during the month of January (the previous record was 11 in 1964) and it is the first month since February 1998 to see 13 new highs. The most ever new highs for any month was June 1955 at 16. (LPL)

The Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes fell 9.3% in December. New home sales increased 8.3% in 2017. In December, there were 295,000 new homes on the market, an increase of 3.9% and the highest level since April 2009. At December's sales pace it would take 5.7 months to clear the supply of houses on the market.

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.6% in December to 107.  This points to a continuation of strong economic growth in the first half of 2018. The passing of the tax plan is likely to provide even more tailwind to the current expansion. The gains were widespread, with most of the strength concentrated in new orders in manufacturing, consumers’ outlook on the economy, improving stock markets and financial conditions.

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



The S&P 500 is up 6.0% YTD in January. Since 1950, when markets are up greater than 5% or more the full year finished in the green 12 out of 12 times with an average gain of 24.8%. The final 11 months closed higher 11 out of 12 times with only 1987 lower. (LPL)

Disney will pay over 125,000 employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,000 because of the passage of a tax bill. The company will also make a $50 million investment into a new employee education program. (CNBC)

Toys R Us will close 180 US stores, about one-fifth of its U.S. stores. Closures will begin in early February. The company is trying to emerge from bankruptcy. (CNBC)

The National Association of Realtors said existing U.S. home sales fell 3.6% in December. Existing home sales, which account for about 90% of all U.S. home sales, rose 1.1% on a year-on-year basis in 2017, the highest level since 2006. The number of previously owned homes on the market dumped 11.4% to its lowest level since January 1999. Housing inventory was down 10.3% from a year ago. It has declined for 31 straight months on a year-on-year basis. The median house price increased 5.8% in 2017, rising for the sixth straight year.

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



According to a Bank of America survey stocks mutual funds and ETFs brought in $58 billion in new money last week. U.S. funds showed the strongest money gains with $6.4 billion for the week, while Japan attracted $3.6 billion, emerging markets saw $3.5 billion and Europe pulled in $2.2 billion. (LPL)

The latest Investors Intelligence poll of professional newsletter editors saw bulls outnumber bears by 66.7% to 12.7%. That is the biggest spread since April 1986. (LPL)

Budweiser used to be Americas top-selling beer, but seceded that position to Bud Light in 2004 and moved behind Coors Light to third in 2011. Now Miller Lite has kicked Bud to number 4. Corona is in fifth place, with Michelob Ultra and Modelo in sixth and seventh place. Overall, beer sales were down slightly in the United States last year. (CNN)

Bacardi is buying Patrón Spirits, who makes the world's top-selling premium tequila — in a deal valued at $5.1 billion. Bacardi is the largest privately held spirits company, with more than 200 brands including Bacardi rum, Grey Goose vodka, Dewars blended Scotch whiskey and Bombay Sapphire gin (USA Today).

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



The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are coming off record closes on Friday. The major averages have posted weekly gains for each of the past three weeks. But markets are under pressure as the government shutdown enters its third day.  (CNBC)

Electro Scientific Industries, Oregon's oldest tech company, says sales in the latest quarter were between $106 million and $111 million. That's a more than 200% increase from a year earlier. The stock is up 319% in the past year. (OregonLive)

The University of Michigan says U.S. consumer sentiment fell in the January to 94.4.  Seventy-percent of consumers said the impact from the new tax reform law would be positive.

The U.S. could be the world's leading energy producer according to the International Energy Agency. Growth should see the U.S. hit historic highs above 10 million barrels a day (in production) during the course of 2018.

Amazon Go an automated grocery store, will launch today. The store is billed as a game changer for grocery and retail with "no lines, no checkouts, no registers." (CNBC)

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



This weeks gains pushed the Nasdaq over its inflation-adjusted March 2000 highs for the first time in 17 years. Meanwhile, the Dow completed another 1000-point advance in a record nine trading days--the previous record was 23 trading days from 24,000-25,000. (LPL)

Of the 36 S&P 500 companies that have reported results through January 17, 78% have reported earnings above estimates, while even more impressively, 81% have surpassed revenue targets (Thomson Reuters data).

China's economy, the world’s second largest, grew 6.9% in 2017. (AP)

The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped to 220,000 last week, the lowest level since February 1973. It marked the 150th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000, the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio on this great station, when we will take you through a wealth building boot camp.

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



This could potentially upset the apple cart. Concerns over a potential government shutdown have some investors on edge. By midnight Friday, Congress must pass a spending bill, in order to prevent a government shutdown.

Department of Energy reported U.S. oil production climbed to a 43-year high of 9.566 million barrels per day this last week. On a monthly basis it is the highest production since May 1972.

The Federal Reserve said U.S. industrial production increased 0.9% in December. For 2017, industrial output rose 1.8%, the first and largest increase since 2014. Capacity utilization increased to 77.9% from 77.2% in November.

The National Association of Home Builders Builder sentiment fell to 72 just off the 18-year high of December. The index stood at 67 in January of 2017.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says total mortgage applications for the week rose 4.1% it is up 5.6% from a year ago. Applications to refinance rose 4% for the week. Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 3% for the week and are 7% higher than one year ago. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate is 4.33%.

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



The National Retail Federation says “retail sales during November and December increased 5.5% percent, to about $692 billion. That represents the largest increase in holiday sales since the recession of 2008.

Stock funds pulled in $24.4 billion last week. It was the sixth-biggest equity inflow total ever and the most in at least six months. (CNBC)

President Donald Trumps tax overhaul will save Oregon taxpayers nearly $1.5 billion a year, according to Legislative Revenue Office.

According to Americans for Tax Reform, “at least 2 million US workers had received bonuses, pay raises or other new benefits from more than 130 companies as a result of the tax cuts.”

Walmart announced it would add its “Scan & Go,” technology to 100 more stores, bringing the total up to 150. The technology allows customers to download an app and scan and bag items, with a smartphone, allowing customers to pay on their mobile and walk out without interacting with a cashier. Kroger, owners of Food 4 Less and Fred Myer’s, recently announced a similar technology.

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



Earnings season is off and running. About 5% of the S&P 500's market cap reports this week. The focus for investors will be on company guidance on the impact of the new tax law. We look for upside in S&P 500 earnings for the quarter in the 14-16% range, while revenue growth may top 7%. The strong growth is expected to be driven mostly by a strong rebound in energy sector profits, as well as potential double-digit gains for the technology and financial sectors. (LPL)

The Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index, excluding the volatile food and energy, rose 0.3% in December.  Core CPI increased 1.8% in 2017. Rents increased 0.4%, the cost of medical care increased 0.3%, prescription medication surged 1% and hospital and doctor visits increased 0.3%.  

The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales increased 0.4% in December. Retail sales in 2017 rose 5.4%, compared to 3.2% in 2016. Sales at electronics and appliance stores fell 0.2%, clothing store sales declined 0.3%, online retailers soared 1.2% and restaurants and bars rose 0.7%.

Wal-Mart is cutting 1,000 jobs mostly at its corporate headquarters, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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



Earnings growth is poised for double-digit increases in 2018, in both the U.S. as well as developed international and emerging markets. The credit for the increase in the U.S. is not surprisingly given to the new tax law. The U.S. earnings season begins today with reports from several big banks. Consensus is calling for a 12% year-over-year increase in S&P 500 earnings in the fourth quarter of 2017. (LPL)

The Labor Department said U.S. producer prices fell 0.1% December. That was the first drop since August 2016. In 2017 the PPI rose 2.6%.  Last month, the price of services fell 0.2%, wholesale food prices fell 0.7%, and energy prices were unchanged.

J.P. Morgan Chase reported Q4 earnings of $1.76 a share topping Wall Street’s expectations. Revenue was $25.45 billion. The company returned $6.7 billion in capital to shareholders during the fourth-quarter with $4.7 billion in net stock buybacks. The company’s stock is up 29% in the last 12 months. (Reuters)

Wells Fargo reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.16 a share, or $6.2 billion, on revenue of $22.05 billion. The profit represents a 17 percent increase from the same period in 2016. (Reuters)

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



The Labor Department said U.S. import prices edged up 0.1% in December, their smallest increase in five months.
In 2017 import prices increased 3.0% after advancing 1.9% percent in 2016. That was the biggest calendar year increase since 2011.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says total application volume rose 8.3% last week. Refinance applications were up 11% from the previous week. Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 5% for the week but are 1% lower than one year ago. Rates were higher at the start of 2017 than they are now. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.23%.

China may reduce or halt U.S. Treasury purchases. After building up its stake in U.S. Treasuries during 2017, China's central bank is rumored to be mulling over the idea of reducing or even halting purchases of U.S. government debt. The news helped push the yield on the benchmark 10-year note past 2.55% for the first time since March of 2017. (LPL)

Coca-Cola is releasing four new flavors of Diet Coke aimed at millennials -- Diet Coke Ginger Lime, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange and Diet Coke Twisted Mango. (Washington Post)

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



The NFIB reports that its latest Small Business Optimism index remained in the stratosphere for all of 2017, making last year an all-time record setter. NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said, “2017 was the most remarkable year in the 45-year history of the NFIB Optimism Index. ... With a massive tax cut this year, accompanied by significant regulatory relief, we expect very strong growth, millions more jobs, and higher pay for Americans.” December’s Optimism Index was “slightly lower than the near-record November report” at 104.9.

Columbia Sportswear will provide uniforms for ski teams from the U.S., Canada, Belarus, Ukraine, Brazil and Kazakhstan at the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea next month. (PBJ)

Visa is increasing its contribution to its 401(k)-match program to up to 5% of employee salary, due to the recent passage of a new GOP-backed tax code.  Visa contributes $2 for every $1 an employee contributes to the retirement savings of its U.S.-based employees. (FOX Business)

President Trump will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland later this month. Davos is seen as the ultimate meeting concerning globalization (CNBC)

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



The S&P 500 closed higher for the fifth straight day to kick off 2018, with all five days also making new highs. This is the longest win streak to start a new year since six in a row in 2010, while it is closing in on the all-time record of new highs to start a year of six in 1964. Not to be outdone, the S&P 500 is up 2.6% after five days, the best start to a year since 2003. When the first five days of the year are up more than 2%, since 1950, the entire year has been higher 15 out of 15 times with an average return of 18.6%. (LPL)

The return of volatility? I noted many times how historically non-volatile 2017 was for stocks. From the S&P 500 not experiencing a single 3% pullback from peak to trough, to only having eight 1% daily changes all year. The first week of 2018 the S&P 500 gained 2.6%, which would have been the single largest weekly gain of 2017. Additionally, it snapped a 55-consecutive week streak without a 2% gain or loss. That was the longest such streak without a 2% change since the mid-1990s, and mid-1960s before that. Could this be the first clue that volatility is coming back in 2018? (LPL)

Kohl's same-store sales climbed nearly 7% for the 2017 holiday season when compared with a year ago. (CNBC)

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



The Dow closed above the 25,000 level for the first time in history last week. It took only 23 trading days to go from 24,000 to 25,000--the fasted 1,000 point move ever. Of course, as you go higher the percentage needed to reach the next milestone is smaller, but this is still an impressive feat. (LPL)

Let’s drill into Fridays big jobs report. The retail sector posted job losses of roughly 20,000 in December. The downward trend in retail jobs is believed to be a result of an ongoing shift to e-commerce sales. Retail posted a net job loss in 2017 of 70,000. The construction industry posted a monthly gain of 30,000 jobs. Much of those increases came from specialty trade contractors, which added roughly 24,000 jobs. Manufacturing added 25,000 jobs during the month and 196,000 jobs last year. Wage growth at 0.3% month over month and 2.5% year over year. (CNBC)

Helen of Troy Ltd., makers of the brands Bedhead, Vicks, Brut, Dr. Scholl’s and Bend based Hydroflask, reported a quarterly loss of $30.4 million, after reporting a profit last year.  That is a loss of $1.12 per share. The company posted sales of $453 million.  Helen of Troy stock price has declined 0.5% in the first week of 2018 and has decreased slightly in the last 12 months. (AP)

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



The Department of Labor says the economy added 148,000 jobs in December. The private sector added 146,000 and the government added 2,000 jobs.  The unemployment rate is 4.1%.

The S&P 500 closed at another new all-time high yesterday, making it three days in a row of new highs to start the year. The last time that happened was in 1964. The first three days this year gained 0.5%, or more which is how 2017 started as well. The best win streak to start a year ever is seven days in a row in 1976 and 1987. (LPL)

The global economy continues to surge. US ISM manufacturing rose in December, making the 2017 average of 57.6 the best in 13 years. In China, the December Services PMI rose to its highest level since August 2014. European data showed better than expected data as well, as the Eurozone December PMI came in at its best level since 2011. (LPL)

The Challenger report says U.S. employers plan to cut 32,423 jobs in December, bringing the year's total to a low not seen since 1990. Cuts in 2017 totaled 418,770, 20% below 2016. Last month saw 7.4% fewer job-cut announcements than November, and 3.6% fewer than in December 2016.

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



The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index climbed to 59.7 in December. That marks the 103rd consecutive month of growth for the manufacturing sector.

The Commerce Department said U.S. construction spending increased by 0.8% in November, to an all-time high of $1.257 trillion.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says applications to refinance fell 7% but were up 1.8% for 2017. Mortgage applications to purchase a home, increased 1% for the week and was 3% higher in 2017. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.25% to end 2017.  

J.C. Penney says same-store sales climbed more than 3% during the holiday shopping season.

Oil prices hit new highs yesterday as West Texas crude closed yesterday up $1.26, or 2.1%, at $61.63, marking its best closing price since December 2014. International benchmark Brent crude closed up $1.27, or 1.9% at $67.84, also a closing high going back to December 2014. (CNBC)

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



Now that  the first trading day of the new year is in the books, what does the first day really matter? Of course one day doesn’t make a full year, but it is quite interesting how much the first day of a new year can signal things to come. Over the past 20 years, the S&P 500 Index has been up 10 times and down 10 times; when the first day is green the full-year return has been up +14.2% on average, while a lower first day has resulted in the full-year return being in the red. (LPL)

Yesterday stocks were up about 0.80% making it a record-breaking start to the year. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both closed at record highs. The Nasdaq closed above 7000 for the first time ever. (CNBC)

Year-end holiday retail sales rose 4.9% compared to last year, according to the Mastercard SpendingPulse report.  In addition, year-end bargain hunters were expected to spend another $69 billion last week.  

Argentina's peso fell 15% in 2017 and was down 34% in 2015 and 18% in 2016. Inflation rose 21% in 2017. (CNN)

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



Could this be the death rattles? According to The Wall Street Journal Sears has not run a paid national television commercial since late November. That compares to $8.4 million it spent a year earlier for the Sears brand and $6.5 million for Kmart.

Nordstrom stock was upgraded to "neutral" from "underweight" at JPMorgan Chase.  It says Nordstrom's had a strong finish to 2017 and the best holiday season in three years.

Today marked the first time since January 2014 that both West Texas crude and Brent Oil opened the year above $60 a barrel. The price of oil collapsed from almost $120 a barrel in June 2014 due to weak demand, a strong dollar and booming U.S. shale production. (CNBC)

The Nasdaq was up nearly 30% in 2017 and has posted 14 months of essentially uninterrupted gains. But there's one more record to add to the books: the technology-heavy index posted its sixth straight positive year, its longest annual string of gains since its six-year streak ended in 1980. (CNBC)

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


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