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Business News Archives for 2019-09

Oregon wine sales broke $607 million last year up from $550 million in 2017 according to the Oregon Wine Board.  The increase was driven by a 19% increase in direct-to-consumer shipments. Canadians purchased 47,338 cases of Oregon wine in 2018, representing 45% of Oregon’s export sales. Oregon had 793 wineries in 2018, up 24 from 2017. The number of acres planted to grapes totaled 35,972 acres in 2018, an increase of approximately 6%. Pinot noir represents 56% of all planted acreage. 


Oregon wood products manufacturing sector jobs have been cut in half since 1990, according to the Oregon Employment Department. Going from 46,100 in 1990 to just 23,000 in 2017. Growth in tourism-related jobs has offset the decline in timber-related ones in some locations. However, In Coos County tourism jobs paid half the $52,000 timber jobs paid. Not all jobs are created equally.


Millennials are changing how we eat. Pizza Hut is selling a gigantic Cheez-It stuffed pizza. The Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza will cost just $6.49. (CNN)


U.S. industrial production grew at 0.4% year over year beating estimates of 0.2%. 

Gregory Bryant and Michelle Johnston Holthaus are now executive vice presidents at Intel. Bryant runs Intel’s PC group and is located in Hillsboro. Holthaus runs Intel’s sales, marketing and communications and is a graduate of Linfield.  Intel is Oregons largest employer. 


With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management on Troy Reinhart.

Fed officials are set to inject another $75 billion of cash to the market this morning after funding shortages drove the rate on one-day loans backed by Treasury bonds -- known as repurchase agreements, or repos to as high as 10%.  The first cash infusion in more than a decade came Tuesday as an overnight liquidity squeeze threatened everything from Treasury bond trading to lending to companies and consumers. It’s a structural money problem that’s hard to ignore. While the spike wasn’t evidence of any broader crisis, it highlighted how the Fed was losing control over short-term lending, one of its key tools for implementing monetary policy.  (Bloomberg)


Facebook is teaming up with eyewear giant Luxottica to develop augmented-reality Ray-Bans, sources told CNBC. The smart glasses, code-named "Orion," will take years to develop, with the company hoping to get them to consumers between 2023 and 2025. Smartphone replacement? According to the report, Facebook is including the ability to take calls, see info via a small display, livestream what the wearer sees and allow for interaction with an AI voice assistant. (SA)


U.S. homebuilding surged to more than a 12-year high in August as both single- and multi-family housing construction increased, suggesting that lower mortgage rates were finally providing a boost to the struggling housing market.  Housing starts jumped 12.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.364 million units last month, the highest level since June 2007.  (CNBC)


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

The Federal Reserve convenes a two-day monetary policy meeting today that is expected to result in a second consecutive quarter point cut to interest rates. The attack on the Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure  the weekend adds to the long list of geopolitical uncertainties the US central bank must consider before reaching a decision. (FT)


The U.S. has inked initial trade agreements with Japan on tariff barriers and digital trade that won't require congressional approval. Not so many other details were provided, including whether President Trump had agreed to rule out imposing tariffs on Japanese automobiles. Coming to terms with Japan is seen as especially important because the President withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership on his fourth day in office. (SA)


Saudi Aramco could take months to fully restore output at its giant Abqaiq plant with oil analysts saying that damage at the facility is more severe than originally thought. Crude futures are holding close to yesterday’s level as investors await a clearer picture of supply disruption and worry about future attacks in the region. One thing seems almost certain: the market seems to have underappreciated the geopolitical risk premium that should be reflected in crude prices.  (Bloomberg)


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

The world's biggest tax case hits the courtroom this week. Apple is battling the EU's Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who in 2016 ruled that Apple's tax deals with Ireland allowed the company to pay far less than other businesses and levied a €13B tax bill on the iPhone maker. The first hints of how the Apple case may turn out will come from a pair of rulings scheduled for Sept. 24, but a final ruling could take months and empower a potential new crackdown on internet giants. (FT)
The United Auto Workers union has begun a nationwide strike against General Motors, with some 46,000 members walking off the job after contract talks hit an impasse. Shutting down North American production will cost GM about $400M/day. GM has enough inventory for a short strike of one or two weeks. The strike does not include Ford and Fiat Chrysler, whose UAW contracts were extended while the union tries to negotiate a deal with GM. (SA)
Brent crude futures posted their biggest-ever jump when trading opened in the wake of the weekend’s attack on a Saudi Arabian oil facility that has removed 5% of global supplies. The estimated 5.7 million barrels a day of lost production is the single biggest disruption on record, surpassing the 1979 hit to Iranian output from the Islamic Revolution as well as the loss of Kuwait and Iraq supplies during the 1990 Gulf War. All eyes are now on how quickly the country can restore supplies, with people familiar saying significant volumes could come back on stream within days, while it could take weeks to restore full capacity. President Donald Trump authorized the release of oil from the U.S. emergency reserve, declaring on Twitter that there is “plenty of oil.”


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

Stocks traded higher yesterday as Apple outperformed after their annual fall new product launch, pushing the major indexes back to levels not seen since late July.
President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will delay implementing higher tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods for two weeks as a “gesture of good will.”  In a series of tweets, Trump said the tariff hikes — from 25% to 30% — that were scheduled to take effect Oct. 1 will now go into effect Oct. 15.
The wholesale cost of U.S. goods and services rose slightly in August, but inflation more broadly was still quite low and showed little sign of stirring up any trouble for the U.S. economy.  The producer price index edged up 0.1% last month. Economists had predicted no increase.

California lawmakers passed a landmark bill on Wednesday that threatens to reshape how companies like Uber and Lyft do business. The legislation, known as Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), was passed in the state Assembly and now heads to Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.  The bill would require gig economy workers to be reclassified as employees instead of contractors. 
Seven states, including Oregon, and the District of Columbia have sued the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying the regulatory agency is putting investors in jeopardy by relaxing rules designed to ensure that securities brokers keep the interests of their customers ahead of their own.
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I'm Tyler SImones

Stocks ended the day little changed yesterday, weighed down by a continuing decline in tech shares while Ford was pressured by a downgrade to its credit rating.
Apple kicked off their annual fall product launch yesterday where they unveiled new iPhone 11’s, Apple Watches and an iPad, as well as new details about Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade.  Shares of Roku, Netflix, and Disney all fell on the Apple TV+ news.
The National Federation of Independent Business small business optimism index fell 1.6 points to a seasonally adjusted 103.1 in August, the worst showing since March. There was an 8-percentage point drop in those expecting the economy to improve, and a 5-point drop in those expecting real sales higher.
The share of people with health insurance fell last year for the first time since the Great Recession, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Approximately 27.5 million Americans, or 8.5% of the population, were without health coverage at some time last year. That’s up from the 25.6 million Americans in 2017. It’s the first annual increase since 2009.

Ford Motor fell 1.4% after Moody’s downgraded the auto maker’s credit rating to junk status, citing below-expectations profit margins and cash flow.
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I'm Tyler Simones.

Stocks traded near the flat line yesterday breaking a 3 day winning streak after a slew of analysts downgrades offset optimism over the US-China trade war news.
Fifty attorneys general are joining an investigation into Google over possible antitrust violations, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the initiative’s leader, said in a news conference the bipartisan probe includes attorneys general from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. California and Alabama are not involved in the probe.  At the press conference announcing the probe, attorneys general emphasized Google’s dominance in the ad market and use of consumer data.
Mortgage rates are around the lowest in three years, but buyers are suddenly much more cautious about purchasing a home. Competition is cooling, and consequently sellers can no longer command any price.  Consumer sentiment in housing did improve in August, according to a monthly survey from Fannie Mae, but only because of a big jump in the share of those who think mortgage rates will keep falling. Other components of the survey were not so rosy. Fewer people think now is a good time to buy or sell a home, and fewer said they are not concerned about losing their job in the next year.


With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I'm Tyler Simones.

US Stocks have notched back to back weekly gains and are only 2% below their all-time-highs as easing fears around the US-China trade war is lifting investor sentiment.
Job growth continued at a tepid pace in August, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by just 130,000 thanks in large part to the temporary hiring of Census workers, the Labor Department reported Friday.  The increase fell short of Wall Street estimates for 150,000, while the unemployment rate stayed at 3.7%, as expected.
J.P. Morgan Chase is close to winning the lead advisory role for the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, the world’s most profitable corporation, edging out rivals for the plum assignment, according to people with knowledge of the situation. A final decision is expected next week.
On Sunday, a new report showed China’s trade with the U.S dropped sharply in August, as new tariffs by both sides were announced. Imports of American goods tumbled 22% in August from a year earlier to $10.3 billion, customs data showed Sunday. Exports to the United States, China’s biggest market, sank 16% to $44.4 billion.
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I'm Tyler Simones.

Global stocks are advancing this morning amid optimism of thawing geopolitical tensions, after the US and China announced that they would resume trade negotiations next month.  The risk-on mood among investors was prompted by the announcement that Chinese officials would hold high-level talks with US trade negotiators in Washington in early October, in the latest effort at seeking a resolution to the trade war between the world’s top two economies. The US later confirmed the talks. (FT)


Company payrolls surged by 195,000 in August, well above Wall Street estimates and at a time when recession fears have been growing.  Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a gain of just 140,000.  August’s payroll growth was the best showing since the 255,000 jobs added in April. (CNBC)


Taking advantage of the steep decline in benchmark interest rates, Apple is joining U.S. companies including Deere and Disneyby launching its first bond deal since 2017 and selling $7B of debt. All three companies issued 30-year bonds with yields below 3%, a first for the corporate debt market. High-grade corporate bonds give investors a relatively safe alternative that still pays more than government bonds. (SA)


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

Activity in the US manufacturing sector has shrunk for the first time in three years, according to data released on Tuesday, as the US-China trade war weighed on the industrial economy and added to fears about slowing domestic growth. An index released by the Institute for Supply Management fell below 50, the level that marks contraction in the sector.  Although manufacturing only accounts for 11 per cent of the US economy and 8 per cent of its workforce, there are concerns among economists and policymakers that weakness in the sector will spread to other areas of output, like the much larger service sector.  One particular part of the report was especially ugly: new export orders fell to their lowest since April 2009, when global trade was hit following the financial crisis. (First FT)

You soon may be able to walk out of Whole Foods without having to pay cash or swiping your card. Amazon engineers are quietly testing scanners that can identify an individual human hand as a way to ring up store purchases, according to the New York Post. Unlike fingerprint scanners found on mobile devices, the system uses vision and depth geometry to identify the shape and size of each hand before charging a credit card on file. The technology is hoped to be rolled out by the beginning of next year. (New York Post)


The next couple of weeks see major decisions at both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. The list of ECB policymakers pushing back against a resumption of asset purchases is growing daily.  Incoming ECB President Christine Lagarde faced lawmakers in Brussels this morning and pledged to act with “agility” when she takes charge on Nov. 1. From the Federal Reserve there have been mixed messages, with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard saying an aggressive 50 basis-point reduction is warranted, while Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren is unconvinced that the bank needs to cut rates at all at the upcoming meeting.  (Bloomberg)


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

Chinese and U.S. officials are having difficulty agreeing a date for the next round of trade talks after Washington rejected Beijing’s request to delay tariffs that took effect over the weekend. Authorities in the Asian nation said they planned to file a complaint at the World Trade Organization against the U.S. moves. The fallout from the prolonged trade war is biting deeper into global factory production, with manufacturing PMIs from across the world yesterday showing increasing weakness. (Bloomberg)


The main event on the data front will be the US non-farm payrolls report Friday. The jobs market remains one of the bright spots of the US economy, at a time when investors are weighing up the broader domestic fallout from Mr Trump’s trade war with China and what that could mean for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate outlook.  Economists polled by Thomson Reuters estimate that non-farm payrolls expanded by 159,000 jobs in August. US job growth hit 164,000 during the prior month, while the labour force participation rate rose to its highest since March. The unemployment rate stands at 3.7 per cent, and economists expect it to hold steady with the August report. (FT)


It will be a light week on the earnings front, particularly with Wall Street closed on Monday for the Labour Day holiday.  US tech companies Palo Alto Networks, Slack, CrowdStrike and Zoom Video Communications will publish earnings this week, as will yoga apparel group Lululemon. (Refinitiv)


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




  • NE 3rd Street between NE Greenwood Avenue and NE Franklin Avenue for Citywide Pedestrian Safety Improvements, periodic lane closures with local access, 9/16/19 - 10/25/19, night work from 10 p.m. - 10 a.m.
  • NE Revere Avenue between Division Street and NE Lytle Street for railroad crossing repairs, road closure with detours, 9/18/19 - 9/20/19.