Hugh Hewitt


Hugh Hewitt

3:00am - 5:00am

Business News Archives for 2013-05

Markets hung out at the flat line yesterday consolidating gains from the week before.  Today we go to our 19th consecutive up Tuesday.


Home Depot is showing the strength of the housing markets as they topped street expectations and raised their profit guidance for the rest of 2013.  The company says sales rose 7.2% year-over-year and profits surged 22% for the same period.


Today Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to go before Congress with a plan that will give incentive to multinational companies to repatriate oversea profits. Currently American multinationals are taxed by the country where they make the profits and then again if they bring them home.  Apple alone has $40 million in cash overseas that could be brought home for new plant construction.  Be aware of political bloviating on this subject as Apple and other companies are demeaned for doing what is legally best for their shareholders.


Airlines collected record baggage fees in 2012, more than $3.5 billion to be precise.  This revenue has become an important and growing part of the airlines revenue stream over the last five years.


Home affordability fell in the first quarter of 2013 according to the National Homebuilders. A median family income of $64,000 could afford 73.7% of all home sold during the quarter, which is down from almost 75% at the end of 2012. The index has not fallen below 70 since 2008, as record low interest rates help keep home affordable.


The S&P 500 is up 1 and the NASDAQ is up 3.


Oil is down 25 cents at $96.50 a barrel.


Gold is down $7 at $1377 a Troy ounce.

Yesterday we took a little breather as earnings season winds down.  The S&P 500 is on track to have profits increase 5% over last year and sales were up 1%. Businesses are getting lean and mean.


Oregon’s other Fortune 500 company, Precision Castparts, has their stock at record highs thanks to a great earnings report.  The company posted a profit of $414 million, up 23% from a year ago.  Precision is bullish on the rest of the year.


Costco’s same store sales were up 4% in April. Lower gas prices and foreign exchange rates had a negative impact on the number.  With those variables factored out sales were up 6%.


Sales of gold coins by the US Mint are at their highest level since December 2009.  The mint suspended sales on April 23rd of coins after demand more than doubled from a year earlier.


Oregon icon Powell’s Books, has a new CEO as third generation owner Emily Powell shifts her focus to long-term planning.  The company shed 39 workers and managers in 2011 as the brick and mortar book retailers struggled. In 2011 book sales at physical stores fell almost 13% and sales of all books fell 2.5%.


Join us Saturday at 10 for Financial Focus when we will talk real estate with our expert John Snippen.


The S&P 500 is up 3 and the NASDAQ is up 5.


Oil is down $2 at $94.50 a barrel.


Gold is down $35 at $1433 a Troy ounce.



It was the Fifth Dimension that sang “Up Up and Away in my Beautiful Balloon” and they could have been singing about this market as the S&P 500 hit new record highs yesterday.  But remember nothing defies gravity forever.


On the earnings front:


·       Northwest fitness equipment maker Nautilus is back from the brink of two years ago posting an over 15% increase in sales and a profit pop of over 200% in the latest quarter. New products and leadership are making the difference.

·       Oregon electronic display company Planar, posted strong quarterly results increasing sales 22% year-over-year but still lost money for the ninth consecutive quarter. The company expects strong sales growth to continue and say they will post a profit for the full year.


New unemployment claims came in at 323,000 down 4,000 and another 5 year low.  That is good jobs news.


Dave’s Killer Bread sold 50% of the family ownership to Goode Partners late last year.  In the next step to make the company a national bread chain, they have named a new CEO.  John Tucker will take over on May 15th, replacing 3rd generation family member Shobi Dahl.


Daimler Trucks North America said sales slipped 6% in the area serviced by its Portland production facility. The Portland plant layed off 230 people in February.  They do see a light on the horizon as incoming orders are up 32% from a year ago.


The S&P 500 is down 3 and the NASDAQ is down 8.


Oil is down 75 cents at $95.75 a barrel.


Gold is down $12 at $1460 a Troy ounce.

Dow +87.31  15,056.20 +0.58%

Nasdaq +3.66  3,396.63 +0.11%

S&P +8.46  1,625.96 +0.52%


Today marks the beginning of the Woodstock for Capitalism in Omaha Nebraska as Warren Buffet kicks off the weekend long events surrounding the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. 


The Department of Labor says the economy added 165,000 jobs in April with the private sector adding 176,000 and government shedding 11,000.  February (322,000) and March (138,000) were revised upward huge.  The February jobs gain is now the biggest since March 2005.


Firearms maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. hit the bulls-eye in Q1 as profits exploded 53% as gun sales surged. The company doubled their dividend for the year to 49 cents a share.  The company says demand will remain strong, as in-store gun inventory is one-third what it was last year.


Oregon electron microscope maker, FEI, saw sales grow 1.7% last quarter, its slowest rate of growth since 2009. Despite the slower growth the company expects to post record sales in 2013, the fourth consecutive annual record.


Crude oil supplies in the US rose to their highest levels on record this week.  This comes as the demand for gasoline slumped almost 4% last week.  Combined this could mean good news for drivers.


Oregon railcar builder Greenbrier will be laying off 200 of the 817 workers at their northwest Portland production facility. The layoffs are due to declining orders.  Greenbrier has struggled recently even as other producers are booming.


The S&P 500 is up 9 and the NASDAQ is up 16.


Oil is up $1.25 at $95.25 a barrel.


Gold is down $10 at $1459 a Troy ounce.


Dow +130.63  14,831.58 +0.89%

Nasdaq +41.49  3,340.62 +1.26%

S&P +14.89  1,597.59 +0.94%

Dow -138.85  14,700.95 -0.94%

Nasdaq -29.66  3,299.13 -0.89%

S&P -14.87 1,582.70 -0.93%




  • Purcell Bridge traffic with lane closures, complete closures at times (10/18-5/1)