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Business News Archives for 2018-11


Stocks pause after back-to-back weekly gains. After rebounding from October's volatility spike over the past two weeks, investors used negative headlines tied to a few bellwether firms in the U.S., along with political tensions in Europe and Washington as reasons to take some gains off the table. (LPL)

 

Emerging markets equities have started to show some signs of life, having bounced nicely off of the 10/29 lows (+6.8%, slightly ahead of the S&P 500 Index). (LPL)

 

Oil struggling after plunging 7 percent yesterday, with surging supply and perceived falling demand. WTI has lost over a quarter of its value since early October. (Reuters)

 

Small business owners delivered another near record month of optimism in October. The index shed a modest 0.5 points for a 107.4 reading. Meanwhile, the percent of owners with one or more unfilled job openings was at a 45-year, all-time high level. (NFIB)

 

Kellogg is selling its Keebler, Famous Amos and fruit snacks businesses. It is consolidating its morning foods, snacks and frozen foods business units.  (CNBC)

 

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



The number of women-owned businesses is on the rise. Four in 10 companies in the U.S. are now majority-owned, operated, and controlled by women, according to CNBC.

 

The Wall Street Journal reported that US companies are raising prices on their products after years of low inflation. Food makers, manufacturers, and airlines are among the firms that have announced price increases.

 

According to the Stanford Center on Longevity one-third of baby boomers had no money saved in retirement plans in 2014, when they were on average 58 years old. Among boomers with positive balances, the median savings was around $200,000.

 

One-third of homeowners over the age of 65 were still paying off a mortgage in 2012, compared with less than a quarter of people in 1998 — and the median amount they owed nearly doubled to $82,000 from $44,000. (Stanford Center)

 

The number of people aged 60 and older with student debt quadrupled between 2005 and 2015, to 2.8 million from 700,000. (Stanford Center)


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



According to the Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 5 percent for the week to the lowest level in two years. Purchase applications were 0.2 percent lower than a year ago. Mortgage applications to refinance fell 3 percent last week and are 33 percent lower than a year ago.

 

Trump critic and Wall Street foe, Rep. Maxine Waters, will take control of the House's financial services committee. She has been the top Democrat on the banking panel since Barney Frank retired in 2013. (CNBC)

 

Kraft Heinz is selling its Canadian natural cheese unit to Italy's Parmalat for $1.23 billion. (CNBC)

 

The Girl Scouts has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America after the Boy Scouts decided to drop "Boy" from its namesake program and start welcoming older girls. The Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, are trying to avert an erosion of its brand and membership. (CNBC)

 

The S&P 500 is down 10 and the NASDAQ is down 54. MSCI International index is lower.

Oil is down 92 cents at $59.75 a barrel.

Gold is down $7 at $1218 a Troy ounce.

 

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



Stocks end sharply higher yesterday, following closely watched midterm elections that saw Democrats take control of the House and Republicans retain their hold on the Senate.  The surge in stocks marks the best post-midterm election rally for the S&P 500 and Dow in more than three decades.

 

Shares of industrial stocks including 3M and Caterpillar rose as some investors viewed the split Congress as a potential mitigator to Trump’s aggressive trade policies.  Shares of big tech companies are also climbing as the specter of regulatory crackdowns against giants including Amazon and Apple fizzled with a divided Congress.

 

The number of job openings in the U.S. fell in September just a month after setting an all-time high, but companies are still scrambling to find workers and offering higher pay and benefits to attract them.  Job openings slipped to 7 million on the last day of September from a record 7.3 million in August.  Even after the decline, job openings still exceed the 6.1 million Americans officially classified as unemployed.



Earnings growth surpasses prior two quarters. With about 75% of S&P 500 companies having reported, earnings growth is tracking to a 27.1% year-over-year increase, up from 25.2% last week and highest since Q4 2010. Meanwhile earnings expectations have held up well. Despite tariffs, S&P 500 earnings estimates for the next 12 months have only been reduced by 0.4% since October 1, less than the average earnings season decline. (LPL)

 

Data continue to show Chinese economy feeling tariff heat. The Caixin Purchasing Managers' Index showed activity in October fell to 50.1. Of particular interest was the sub-index of new business, which fell to its lowest level since 2008. All of which suggest the U.S. may have the upper hand as negotiations between President Trump and the President of China are poised to officially begin at the G20 summit later this month.

 

U.S. services sector still on solid footing. ISM's October non-manufacturing index came in at 60.3. Business activity and employment components were down month over month, but new orders were little changed overall. 

 

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



U.S. stocks finished yesterday’s trading session mostly higher but weakness in the technology and internet-relate sectors limited an advance in the broader market. 

 

Shares of Apple extended their post-earnings slide yesterday, after a report suggested iPhone XR demand might be falling short of expectations.  Apple has curbed plans for additional iPhone XR production lines, while instructing assemblers to build more of the older iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models than the company had originally ordered.  The company has “signaled disappointing demand for the new iPhone XR.


The home improvement retailer Lowe's said it will close 20 underperforming stores in the U.S. and 31 locations in Canada, as part of a strategic reassessment. The company said most employees at the stores closing will be offered similar jobs at a nearby store, as most of the stores being closed are within 10 miles of another store. 

 

And the IRS said late last week that Americans will be able to contribute more in their retirement plans in 2019.  Retirement plans like 401k’s, 403b’s, and IRA’s will have higher contribution maximums starting in 2019.



The S&P 500 increased 1% last Thursday, its third straight gain of 1% or more, the first such streak since June 2016. That streak ended Friday as markets closed down. The S&P 500 hasn't been up 1% on 4 consecutive days since 1982. (LPL)
 
Europe continues to struggle to produce inflation. Core consumer prices (ex. food and energy) rose just 1.1% in October in the Eurozone on a year-over-year basis. Considering the amount of time the Eurozone has employed highly accommodative monetary policy, it is surprising inflation has stayed this stubbornly low. Low inflation and low interest rates in Europe reflect continued lackluster economic growth. (LPL)
 
According to Capital One’s Fall 2018 Small Business Growth Index, the “majority of small business owners are optimistic and satisfied with the current small business environment, but at the same time are facing a number of challenges and are concerned about how new governmental policies will a?ect them.” 
 
This will make Mrs. Reinhart happy with just 50 days till Christmas Starbucks is now offering six holiday beverages. This comes about a week earlier than previous years.
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.                  
 



The US Department of Labor says the economy added 250,000 new jobs in October. The unemployment rate stands at 3.7%. 

 

Despite a strong finish to October with a Halloween rally, the S&P 500 suffered its worst month in over seven years with a 6.9% decline. In addition to snapping its 6-month win streak, the S&P 500 fell 16 days for the month, tying the most down days for any month since October 2008. But as has been the case virtually all year, U.S. equities held up better than their overseas counterparts. For the month, the MSCI EAFE Index fell 7.9%, while the MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) Index slid 8.7%. A strong dollar, weaker economic growth, and political risk, particularly in Italy, weighed on European equities, while trade tensions and related weaker economic data dragged broad EM equities including China lower. (LPL)

 

U.S. productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the third quarter. It marks a slowdown from the previous quarter but is still better than the weak gains seen for most of this nine-year expansion. Labor costs accelerated but still remained at a low level. (CNBC)

 

Don’t forget to join us this weekend on this great station for Financial Focus Radio. Saturday at 10am and Sunday at 1pm

 

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



Oregon is losing another publicly held company from the State. Electro Scientific Industries, has sold to MKS Instruments of Massachusetts for $1 billion in cash. The $30-a-share price is a little more than double ESI's closing stock price Monday. ESI employees about 220 personal in Oregon.  ESI reported sales in its fiscal second quarter were $85.9 million, up from $71.0 million a year ago. (PBJ)

 

 ADP report hints to strong payrolls gain. U.S. jobs grew 227,000 last month, the strongest increase since February. (LPL)

 

Labor costs increase. The Employment Cost Index (ECI) grew 0.8% in the third quarter. Year-over-year, the ECI rose 2.8% through last quarter, its largest increase of the cycle. Wages represent up to 70% of business costs. (LPL) 

 

China manufacturing hits two-year low. China's official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, is hovering just above the 50.0 threshold dividing economic expansion and contraction. New export orders fell for a fifth straight month due to tariffs implemented earlier this year. The continued slowdown comes despite government efforts to shore up growth, buoy sentiment, and boost liquidity. (LPL) 

 

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


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