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While investors are focused on the prospects for inflation and economic growth, during his testimony to Congress Powell highlighted how far the U.S. labor market is from maximum employment.  Jobless claims fell sharply last week despite brutal winter storms that swept across Texas and other parts of the South, the Labor Department reported Thursday.  First-time filings for unemployment insurance totaled 730,000 for the week ended Feb. 20, well below the Dow Jones estimate of 845,000. 


Rich countries’ governments borrowed $18 tril¬lion from bond markets in 2020—more than ever before—but their borrowing costs hit a record low, due to a big rise in bond purchases by central banks, as well as a lack of concern about public debt levels among private investors.  In contrast to the years that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers in Sep¬tember 2008, there was no rise in bond yields in 2020, and governments faced a lower interest bill than they did before the financial crisis, the OECD said.


The FCC has announced the winners of a wireless airwave auction it conducted over the past few months which racked up a record $81B in bids. The mid-band spectrum, sometimes called the "Goldilocks band," is well-suited for 5G networks because it is able to transmit large amounts of data on a wavelength that can travel long distances. The 280-megahertz spectrum is also especially important to wireless giants who have been trying to fill out their spectrum portfolios.  Verizon captured the lion’s share for $45B.



The volatility in global bond and equity markets is easing today after Fed Chair Jerome Powell's reassuring comments to the Senate Banking Committee yesterday. He signaled that the central bank is nowhere near pulling back its economic support measures, saying there was still a long way to go to reach their inflation and employment goals. Powell will give testimony to the House Financial Services Panel today. 

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The global bond market is suffering its worst start to a year since 2015 as investors grow increasingly confident that the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines will boost economic growth and fan serious inflationary pressures for the first time in decades. The Bloomberg Barclays Multiverse index tracking $70tn worth of debt has lost 1.9 per cent since the end of last year, in total return terms that account for price changes and interest payments. If sustained this would be the worst quarterly performance since mid-2018 and the sharpest first-quarter setback for the broad fixed income gauge in six years.


Continued fiscal and monetary support, coupled with the rapid rollout of vaccines, mean investors are increasingly confident in a strong economic recovery over the horizon. For the oil market this means forecasts of $100 a barrel crude are emerging, less than a year after the commodity traded in negative territory. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. strategists said that the recovery in demand will outpace supply when they increased their third-quarter forecast for the commodity to $75 a barrel.



 The stock market’s highest flyers remain under pressure this morning. Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 dropped 1.5%, after the index slumped 2.6% in trading yesterday on a selloff in some of the hottest pandemic buys such as Peloton Interactive Inc. which sank 10%. Tesla Inc. shares are set to tumble again at the open with futures trading well south of $700. CEO Elon Musk's bet on Bitcoin also took a hit with the cryptocurrency dropping significantly again this morning. 

 

Get ready for Fed Chair Jerome Powell's semiannual monetary policy testimony before Congress, which will take on additional importance this time around as investors size up the recent run-up in bond yields. Powell will answer questions from the Senate Banking Committee today and appear before the House Financial Services Committee tomorrow. He's expected to reaffirm his commitment to an ultra-easy monetary policy, as well as the need for more fiscal stimulus, to support the economy as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.


In earnings news, Home Depot, home improvement retailer beat quarterly estimates with earnings of $2.65 per share. Revenue came in above estimates as well. Comparable store sales jumped 24.5% during the fourth quarter, more than the 19.2% consensus estimate of analysts polled by FactSet. Home Depot is not providing 2021 guidance, however, due to pandemic-related uncertainty. 



While the S&P 500 is coming off its first losing week in three, the market is going into the final week of February with solid gains. The Dow and S&P 500 have already climbed more than 5% this month, the Nasdaq advanced 6.2% and the small-cap Russell 2000 outperformed with a gain of 9.3%. The 10-year Treasury yield jumped 14 basis points last week to 1.34%, close to its highest level since February 2020. It even touched 1.37% overnight, meaning the benchmark rate has moved up 28 basis points so far this month.

 

Saudi Arabia and Russia are at loggerheads as they head into an OPEC+ meeting that's renewing the debate on global oil supply. Riyadh is said to prefer keeping output steady while Russia wants to proceed with an increase. Iran is also set to take part as the Islamic Republic engages in a diplomatic back-and-forth that could eventually lift sanctions on its crude exports. Attention will also remain on Texas as the state tries to recoverfrom the extreme weather.

 

The first real-world indication that immunization will curb transmission of the coronavirus comes from Israel, which is leading the world in the vaccine race. There, the Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE Covid-19 vaccine appeared to stop the vast majority of recipients becoming infected.



U.S. stocks were lower yesterday as investors were discouraged by a worse-than-expected jobless claims reading as well as a weak forecast from Walmart.

 

Another 861,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits for the first-time last week, according to the Labor Department. That's nearly 100,000 more claims than economists had predicted and the highest number in a month. It was also an increase from the week before -- which was revised higher as well. America's jobs recovery has really lost steam and last week's initial claims were four times higher than in the same period last year.

 

Walmart shares dropped after their fourth-quarter earnings fell short of Wall St estimates. The big-box retailer sees sales growth slowing this year as the pandemic momentum ebbs. Walmart also raised wages for store workers in digital and stocking positions to $13-$19 an hour, though their minimum starting wage will remain $11/hr.

 

The cost to build a new house is going significantly higher. Lumber prices are now at an all-time-high of $1,004 per 1,000 board feet, which is double the price just 3 months ago.



U.S. stocks hovered near record levels yesterday as rising bond yields kept investor sentiment in check.  Many on Wall Street believe that surging interest rates could make the high-flying stock market less attractive, while posing a threat to sectors like technology that have benefited from the low-rate environment.

 

St. Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard said that he doesn’t see a bubble in asset prices and doubts the central bank needs to start tightening policy anytime soon.  With prices surging in the stock market and in alternative assets like bitcoin, Fed officials have faced repeated questions about whether low rates and trillions in bond buying have helped create dangerously high valuations.  The Fed has stated that still don’t see any clear signs of excesses in the US economy.

 

Buying nutritious food is getting costlier as hunger in the country remains at elevated levels during the pandemic.  The consumer price index (CPI) for food increased by 0.4% in December 2020 from the previous month, with food prices ending the year 3.9% higher than 2019, according to recent data from the Department of Agriculture. The year-over-year jump outpaced the 20-year average of 2.
 



The price of Oil is 25% higher so far in 2021 and prices are headed higher after frigid temperatures in Texas over the weekend shuttered oil refineries and forcing restrictions on Natural Gas operators. The price of West Texas Crude is now over $60/barrel, which is the highest since the start of the pandemic.

 

Pessimism about financial security, especially among middle- and lower-income Americans, grew in early February and fewer expect the economy to show much improvement by the summer. The first of two readings of consumer sentiment this month fell 3.5 points to 76.2 in early February and touched a six-month low, according to an index produced by the University of Michigan. The index registered 79 in January.

 

Japan’s stock market set a new 30-year high, continuing the rally in global stocks amid stronger-than-forecast corporate earnings. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.9% to 30,084.15 after a stronger-than-forecast 3% rise in fourth-quarter gross domestic product for Japan. Markets more broadly have been boosted this year by the so-called reflation trade where an economy is resuscitated after a period of duress. The rollout of vaccines and the proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus plan from the Biden administration have stoked enthusiasm that the global economy will accelerate later this year.



Fed Chair Jerome Powell yesterday said that the U.S. jobs market remains a long way from a full recovery, and that monetary policy would remain very accommodative until there was "substantial further progress" on employment and inflation. There was little sign of that progress in yesterday's slower-than-expected data on price growth, and today's initial jobless claims number 

 

totaled 793,000 last week as declining Covid-19 cases provided little relief for the jobs market. The total for the week ended Feb. 6 was above the 760,000 forecast from economists surveyed by Dow Jones but a slight decrease from the previous week’s upwardly revised total of 812,000 


Another glitzy IPO will begin trading today as a strong streak continues for stocks and the public markets. Bumble, the hot app which requires women to reach out first in hetero dating situations, will open on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol "BMBL." It's worth more than $8B, based on a higher-than-expected share price of $43, while the company increased the number of shares it sold to as many as 57.5M.

 

General Motors became the latest automaker yesterday to warn about a chip shortage, saying the semiconductor crunch could cut its earnings by $1.5B-$2B in 2021. It's not alone. Many companies across multiple industries have been flagging the problem in recent months, such as AMD and Qualcomm, which sell chips to most of the top electronics firms, or Sony, which blamed the shortage for why it's so hard to get a PS5.



Nearly 6,000 employees at an Amazon warehouse just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, called BHM1, began a vote this week to unionize their facility, marking the first such significant effort by Amazon workers in the U.S. The retail giant has been fighting hard against the endeavor with anti-union posters, a dedicated website launch and holding mandatory meetings during work hours, but a group of more than 70 investors has written a letter asking the company to stop interfering with the vote and remain neutral. They have cited worker rights to unionize, as well as possible negative effects on Amazon's reputation among customers. 

 

Global shares hit a record high on Wednesday, with sentiment boosted by optimism about the latest data on the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines.  Investors will look for clues on how the Federal Reserve plans to respond to brighter economic prospects when its chairman Jay Powell speaks later on Wednesday, at the Economic Club of New York, about the state of the US labour market.

 

U.S. consumer prices rose moderately in January and underlying inflation remained benign as the pandemic continues to be a drag on the labor market and services industry.  The Labor Department said on Wednesday its consumer price index increased 0.3% last month after climbing 0.4% in December. In the 12 months through January the CPI rose 1.4% after a similar gain in December. 



US Stocks posted their fourth positive day in a row yesterday trading at a record high as investors assessed a new batch of corporate earnings and solid economic data.

 

According to the Labor Department the US economy added 49,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.3%.  Job gains were concentrated in professional services and local government education.  The job gains were in line with economists expectations.

 

New orders for U.S.-made goods rose more than expected in December and business spending on equipment was solid, pointing to continued strength in the manufacturing industry in the near term.  The Commerce Department said that factory orders increased 1.1% after surging 1.3% in November.

 

Shares of Ford are higher after the company reported better than expected 4th quarter earnings.   During their conference call they announced they are significantly cutting production of their highly profitable F-150 pickup trucks due to an ongoing semiconductor chip shortage plaguing the global automotive industry.



U.S. stocks ripped again yesterday, building on a strong rally in the previous trading session as concerns about a speculative retail trading frenzy continued to ease.

 

Many of the stock picks popularized on Reddit’s wallstreetbets forum last week extended Monday’s losses, giving back more of last week’s sharp gains. GameStop sank more than 40% following a 31% slide on Monday, bringing the stock down below $100 per share at session lows from a peak of $483 last week. 

 

Amazon reported another round of record-setting quarterly results, as consumers still under stay-in-place restrictions turned in droves to the e-commerce platform, especially over the holiday shopping season.  Amazon had revenue of $125 Billion in the 4th quarter.  The company also announced that their founder Jeff Bezos will be stepping down as CEO.  Andy Jassy their head of web services will take over Bezos’ role.

 

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, reported 4th quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations.  Revenue grew by 23% propelled higher by their advertising business.



Stocks traded higher yesterday, the first session of February, as Wall Street appeared to shake off concerns about a speculative retail trading mania that largely drove the market’s worst weekly sell-off since October last week.

 

A measure of U.S. manufacturing remained robust at the start of the year, though pandemic-related supply chain disruptions are restraining production and driving up prices. The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of factory activity eased to a still-elevated 58.7 in January from 60.5 a month earlier. Readings above 50 indicate manufacturing is expanding. The group’s index of prices paid for raw materials rose to the highest since April 2011.

 

U.S. construction spending raced to a record high in December as historically low mortgage rates powered outlays on private projects. The Commerce Department said that construction spending increased 1.0% to $1.5 trillion, the highest level since the government started tracking the series in 2002.



US Stocks suffered their worst sell-off since October last week as investors took some risk off the table.

 

This week investors will be watching another busy week of earnings with 99 S&P companies set to report. Alphabet, Amazon, Alibaba, Snap, Exxon, Biogen, Pfizer and Chipotle are among the names set to report this coming week. Thursday is the busiest day of the earnings season.

 

According to the National Association of Realtors the index of pending home sales dropped 0.3% in December, marking the fourth consecutive month of declines. The index measures real-estate transactions in which a contract is signed, but the sale had not yet closed. Compared to 2019, pending sales were still up 21%, a sign of how strong the market is right now despite the recent weakness. Pending sales didn’t fall across all regions, as was the case in November. In fact, the Midwest was the only region to experience a decline, with a 3.6% drop. Pending sales were flat in the West and rose by 3.1% in the Northeast and 0.1% in the South.

 

Futures contracts for silver surged higher as the Reddit-fueled boom in highly shorted stocks appears to be spilling over into the metals market. Silver Futures are up over 8%, marking the biggest move in Silver futures since at least 2013.



This week markets were fixated by an astronomical run-up in shares of GameStop Corp., which at one point were up 2,000% in less than a month. Much of the moonshot was driven by retail investors, who used online forums like Reddit's WallStreetBets to organize a concerted push at the expense of hedge funds like Melvin Capital Management LP.  Now, the White House is monitoring the situation. Congress is planning a hearing on it. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has been asked about the whole saga. Hedge fund losses ran into the billions. U.S. securities regulator says it's watching the drama. GameStop even almost brought Ted Cruz and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez together. 

 

In a move that could turn WeWork into a publicly traded company more than a year after its IPO fail, the office leasing company is in talks to combine with a SPAC, WSJ reports. A deal could value the firm at $10B, but it's not known whether that amount includes debt assumed. Bill Ackman, whose Pershing Square Tontine Holdings raised $4B last year, has pointed out that failed IPOs like WeWork is the reason he chose to form a SPAC, but the company has also received offers for private investment rounds and could choose to stay private instead.

 

Robinhood raised $1 billion overnight from investors to shore up its balance sheet as the brokerage app was set to ease restrictions in the trading of certain volatile stocks.  The money raised was on top of $500 million the broker accessed through credit lines to ensure it had the capital required to keep allowing its clients to trade stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment. Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev told CNBC that tapping the credit lines was a proactive measure and denied it was because of a liquidity issue.

 

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



The U.S. economy’s 4% holiday quarter increase wasn’t enough to ward off a full-year contraction, but growth is expected in 2021. But economists say growth in the third and fourth quarters isn’t likely to fully offset the sharp downturn from the first half of the year, leaving the U.S. with a projected 2.4% annual contraction, its first since 2009 when the economy shrank by 2.5% in the wake of the financial crsis.

 

Heavily shorted companies across the globe are seeing their shares jump as traders race to bet on where the flood of retail money might head next. There is a long list of potential targets - companies that have short-interest levels above 30% of their share float - which have seen rallies in recent days. Shares in GameStop Corp. surged again in premarket trading, moving above $500 at one point. For hedge funds, the attack on their short positions is proving painful, and moving the wider market as they slash their equity exposure at the fastest rate since 2014.

 

Apple reported its highest-ever net profit in the fourth quarter as revenues surpassed forecasts to hit $111.4bn, driven by a 57 per cent rise in sales in greater China. Net profits rose 29 per cent to $28.8bn, Sales in all five of the $2.4tn company’s product categories grew at double-digit percentages, led by a 41 per cent gain in iPad sales and a 30 per cent climb in its wearables unit, which includes AirPods and the Apple Watch.

 

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



Microsoft Corp. got big-tech earnings season off to a strong start yesterday, reporting sales that were well ahead of analyst expectations. After the bell today Apple Inc.'s iPhone sales will be in focus when the company reports. For Tesla Inc., which has seen its share price rise almost 8-fold in the last year, revenue from the sale of regulatory credits will be of interest, as well as sales and orders figures. Facebook Inc. may see a jump in revenue 


The Federal Open Market Committee is all but certain to keep interest rates near zeroand the pace of asset purchases unchanged in its decision today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Despite hopes for a strong recovery, disappointing economic data of late, including on the labor market, means Fed Chair Jerome Powell is likely to restate that now is "not the time" to be discussing an exit from stimulus.  The Fed is currently buying $80B of Treasury bonds and $40B in mortgage-backed securities each month to keep longer-term borrowing rates low.


After surging over 90% yesterday back to the $150 level, GameStop got another boost from a well-known short-seller battler - Elon Musk. It only took a one-word tweet from the master troller, "Gamestonk," to propel GME shares another 46% to $217 in after-hours trading (the stock is up 1000% since Jan. 12)


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



The stock market rallied to a record close yesterday, sparked by hopes for another stimulus package and smoother vaccine rollout ahead. A slew of strong quarterly results also boosted sentiment, including from Netflix which soared 17%.

 

The construction industry’s outlook worsened to start the New Year, according to the National Association of Home Builders’.  Their monthly confidence index dropped three points to a reading of 83 in January.  It was the second consecutive month that the index has dropped, though the reading still remains strong.  Index readings over 50 are a sign of improving confidence. Back in April and May, the index dropped below 50 as pandemic concerns mounted, but months later the index hit a series of record highs.

 

Oregon’s unemployment rate climbed to 6.4% in December, up from 6.0% the prior month. It’s the first increase in seven months as the state hunkered down amid a sharp increase in COVID infections.  The state shed 25,500 jobs last month, according to data from the Oregon Employment Department, with the biggest losses in the leisure and hospitality sector. Ten months into the pandemic, Oregon has regained just 37% of the jobs lost in this recession.
 
Tyler Simones, Partner
Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management



Stocks edged higher yesterday, rebounding from a rough week last week, as investors digested results from the new earnings season as well as signals for another big stimulus and faster pace of vaccine distribution ahead.

 

Shares of Goldman Sachs traded 1.5% lower as traders took profits after the bank topped expectations for fourth-quarter profit and revenue. The blowout results came on the back of strong performance from its equities traders and investment bankers.  Shares of Bank of America dipped after the bank posted quarterly earnings that exceeded expectations. Revenue came in slightly below estimates.  The first week of earnings season saw a historically high proportion of beats with 88% of the S&P 500 companies that reported exceeding EPS estimates.

 

Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden’s designated nominee for Treasury Secretary and a former chair of the Federal Reserve, appeared before the Senate Finance Committee yesterday. Yellen’s prepared remarks call for the federal government to enact a large stimulus to help the economy.  The Senate could confirm her as early as Thursday.
 
Tyler Simones, Partner
Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management
 



President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic relief package includes proposals likely to be opposed by many Republicans, which may lead to drawn-out talks before an agreement is reached. While many of the elements in the plan could pass the Senate with a simple 50-50 partisan split, some such as state aid and money for health care will likely need 60 votes in the chamber. The timing of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump could add another road block to a swift agreement on new stimulus. 


JPMorgan Chase has released almost $3bn it had reserved for loan losses at the height of the pandemic, contributing to a 42 per cent surge in net income for the biggest US bank in the final three months of 2020 versus a year earlier.  The bank reported record profits of $12.1bn.  JP Morgan’s fourth-quarter revenue of $29.2bn was up 3 per cent year on year.  

 

The furious pace of IPOs and SPACs is showing no sign of letting up anytime soon as management teams and big name investors take advantage of the easy money sloshing around in financial markets. Case in point: Affirm, a company that helps consumers finance online purchases, finished its trading debut up 98% on Wednesday, giving a nice shot in the arm for Shopify, which holds about 20M shares through warrants. Petco went public for the third time on Thursday, soaring 63% and valuing the retailer at more than $6B.

 

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



President-elect Joe Biden will tonight unveil a Covid-19 stimulus package that could be as big as $2 trillion. The plan will include direct payments of $2,000, extending unemployment benefits, money for state and local government and tax credits, according to congressional officials. While Biden has said that he is seeking the support of Republican lawmakers in passing the package, Democrat control of all three branches of the legislature means he does not require it to pass his plans.  
 

Intel is bidding farewell to CEO Robert Swan, who has been at the helm for two years, as the semiconductor pioneer faces pressure from activist investor Daniel Loeb. He'll be replaced in mid-February by Patrick Gelsinger, a former chip designer and 30-year Intel veteran who has led software maker VMware since 2012. News of the shakeup sent Intel shares up 7%.  Then overnight, rival manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor announced strong earnings, and plans to spend as much as a staggering $28 billion to expand manufacturing and solidify its tech dominance.  These divergent trajectories just might be one of the most important trends in the world today.

 

First-time claims for unemployment insurance jumped to 965,000 last week amid signs of a slowdown in hiring due to pandemic restrictions, the Labor Department reported this morning.  The total was worse than Wall Street estimates of 800,000 and above the previous week’s total of 784,000.

 

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



Affirm, the consumer lender led by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, sold shares well above its expected price range during an initial public offering, in a sign of the continued exuberance for new US listings. The San Francisco-based company raised $1.2bn in the offering after selling shares at $49 a piece, according to two people briefed on the matter, a price level that exceeded its already bumped up range of $41 to $44.  Affirm would have a market capitalisation of $11.9bn at the IPO price.

 

Analysts are wavering in their convictionthat the dollar will continue to weaken as a more optimistic outlook about the US economy challenges a key driver of the greenback slide. The US currency fell 5 per cent in the final two months of 2020, and many investors and analysts were expecting further declines in 2021. But the past week has brought a 1.2 per cent recovery. Emerging markets currencies that have performed strongly in recent months have also had their march interrupted by the resurgent dollar. The turnround reflects nagging doubts over whether the Federal Reserve will hold the line with its extremely supportive policy given greater hopes for an economic pick-up in the US.

 

After setting more than a dozen record lows last year, mortgage rates began 2021 on an upward climb, and that lit a fire under borrowers, fearing they might miss the last of the lowest rates. Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan spiked 20% last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. That was the highest level since last March. Volume was 93% higher than a year ago.

 

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



With the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury rising almost a quarter of a percent already this year, hitting 1.16% this morning, today's record-matching $38 billion auction of 10-year bonds will be closely watched. The beginning of 2021 has also seen a rapid steepening of the yield curve, as the prospect of a unified Democratic government led investors to reprice expectations for economic stimulus and debt issuance in the wake of the Georgia runoff result. The moves in the Treasury market are raising concerns about the resilience of the market rally, particularly in emerging markets.

 

The uptick in rates has certainly helped Bank stocks, stuck in the investment doghouse for years, and are now back in favour.  The sector suffered a rough 2020 as coronavirus lockdowns threatened to spark a rush of loan defaults, drawing out a period of marked underperformance since long-term interest rates began to fall in 2018, compressing profit margins. bank indices have outperformed the wider market by more than 25 percentage points since.

 

Five days ago, Elon Musk, the tech billionaire and avid Twitter user prompted his followers to "use Signal" - the encrypted messaging app that's funded by a nonprofit and is seeing a surge in popularity.  There was some confusion and ignorant retail investors responded to Musk's tweet by pushing up the price of Signal Advance, a small component manufacturer with one full-time employee whose stock trades over the counter and hasn't filed an annual report with the SEC since 2019. Shares were trading at just $0.60 before the big tweet, but quickly climbed to $6.64 over Thursday and Friday. The stock shot up again yesterday to close at $38.70, resulting in a whopping 6,380%advance over the three trading sessions, as well as a market cap of more than $3B.

 

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



The Consumer Electronics Show kicks off today, the big industry event for consumer technology companies that's normally held in Las Vegas. The show is always full of dazzling displays and latest innovations, but it will take place virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The China crackdown seen on Wall Street is extending to the Far East, where Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley said they will delist 500 Hong Kong-listed structured products linked to China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, as well as local indexes including the Hang Seng Index. Last week, the Office of Foreign Assets Control clarified a November order from President Trump that banned Americans from investing in Chinese companies that the U.S. considers to have links with China's military.

 

Direct payments have provided a financial lifeline to millions of Americans, but for others, they represent an opportunity to boost their savings. That is thanks to the $2.3T CARES Act and the latest $908B stimulus bill, which provided $1200 and $600 to all Americans making under $75,000 - regardless of their employment and financial situation. Securities trading was among the most common uses - across nearly every income bracket - for the government stimulus checks issued in May, according to software and data aggregation company Envestnet. Americans that earned between $35,000 and $75,000 annually traded stocks about 90% more than the week prior to receiving their stimulus check

 

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



According to the Labor Department the US economy lost 140,00 jobs in December, and economists had predicted it to ad 50,000 jobs. The unemployment rate now stands at 6.7%. The industry that saw the largest losses was the hospitality industry because of the new lockdowns across the country. The U.S. service sector expanded more than anticipated in December, marking a seventh straight month of expansion.

 

The Institute for Supply Management services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 57.2 for the month following a print of 55.9 in November. The increase came as new orders, supplier deliveries and inventories increased markedly in the service sector in December.

 

Oregon recreational-marijuana sales surged in 2020, peaking during a difficult summer of protests and lockdowns. The result was a record year of business for the state’s marijuana purveyors, based on data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which oversees marijuana sales. Total marijuana sales in Oregon jumped from $795 million in 2019 to more than $1 billion in 2020, led higher by Multnomah County.



US Stock rallied yesterday led higher by banks of all sizes and scopes rallied as a rise in long-term rates promised to allow financial firms to hike the interest banks can charge on their loans, a key driver of commercial lending profits.

 

U.S. private employers in December slashed jobs for the first time in six months, suggesting the labor market's recovery from the coronavirus crisis has stalled amid a resurgence in cases nationwide. According to the ADP National Employment Report companies shed 123,000 jobs last month, missing the 88,000-job increase that economists had predicted.

 

New orders for U.S.-made goods increased more than expected in November and business investment on equipment was solid, pointing to sustained recovery in manufacturing. The Commerce Department said that factory orders rose 1.0% after increasing 1.3% in October.

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, I’m Tyler Simones


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