Business News Archives for 2017-09

First Positive September since 2013

Wall Street looks to post its first positive September since 2013. On the final trading day of the month and the quarter, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq look to post a third straight week of gains. The S&P 500 is at a record high. (CNBC)

The shuttered Hynix memory chip factory in Eugene sold at auction for $12.75 million. The buyer was not identified. Hynix spent $1.5 billion to build and the 1.2 million sq. ft. factory in 1998. It employed 1,400 people. (Oregonian)

Mortgage Bankers Association says mortgage application volume fell 0.5% last week and is now 21.5% lower than a year ago. Applications to refinance fell 4%for the week and are 36% lower than a year ago. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stands at 4.11%.

Small caps and micro caps had big days Wednesday on the release of potential tax reform. The Russell 2000 Index gained 1.9% and closed at a new high for the fourth day in a row. In the process, it outperformed the S&P 500 by 1.5%, which was the largest one-day outperformance since November 2016. Micro caps did even better, as the Russell Microcap Index closed at its seventh all-time high over the past eight days and gained 2.2% for its largest one-day spike since November 2016.

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

The Least Volatile September Ever?

This month has been calm by historical standards, which is similar to what we've been seeing all year in 2017. The average daily intraday closing range on the S&P 500 (from high to low) has been less than 0.4%. Should this average hold over the next couple days, it would be the least volatile September on record; however, it is important to remember that October has historically been the most volatile month. (LPL Research)

Crude is in a bull market. It is official, earlier this week WTI crude oil moved into a bull market - up 20% from the summer lows. Increased optimism over global supply and demand has sparked much of the rally. This has helped energy stocks, which in turn has helped value stocks outperform growth so far in September. The International Energy Agency said global demand growth was very strong in Q2, up 2.4% year over year. (LPL Research)

The Commerce Department says new orders for capital goods increased 0.9%, more than expected, in August.  Orders for machinery rose 0.3%. Overall orders for durable goods surged 1.7% as bookings for transportation equipment jumped 4.9%.

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

Nike had it's Slowest Quarterly Sales Growth

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price reported a 5.9% annual gain through July. Seattle, Portland, and Las Vegas reported the highest year-over-year gains. Seattle led the way with a 13.5% year-over-year price increase, followed by Portland with a 7.6% increase, and Las Vegas with a 7.4% increase. The National Index posted a month-over-month gain of 0.7% in July.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved marginally in August, declined slightly in September. The Index now stands at 119.8, down from 120.4 in August. The Present Situation Index decreased from 148.4 to 146.1, while the Expectations Index rose marginally from 101.7 last month to 102.2.

Nike had its slowest quarterly sales growth in nearly seven years as competition intensified by Adidas. Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike also said it expects its second-quarter revenue to grow in the low single-digit percentage range. Nike's gross margins fell 1.8%, while inventory was up 6%. Revenue from North America, the company's largest revenue contributor, fell 3% percent - its first decline in more than 10 quarters. Total revenue rose marginally to $9.07 billion, while Nike said it earned 57 cents per share. (Reuters)

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


Welders at Precision Castparts

Stocks are higher this morning following yesterday's tech-driven drop. The Nasdaq is coming off its biggest one-day decline since August 17th, even as the small-cap Russell 2000 posted a record closing high. The Dow is riding a three-day losing streak, and a decline today would give it its first four-day decline since late June. (CNBC)

Highlighting this week's calendar, a more detailed tax framework will be released by the Big Six (key Republican tax policy players), and details are already trickling out. The path to an agreement was always going to be difficult, but we have seen nothing so far that suggests a deal cannot be reached. The biggest stumbling block remains getting a 2018 budget deal done, without which tax law changes become virtually impossible. (LPL Research)

Welders at Precision Castparts in the Portland have voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The vote impacts about 100 employees. 54 voted to join the union, and 38 voted against. (OregonLive)

Nestle set an operating profit margin target of 18.5% by 2020 and also will speed up stock buybacks. The company has been under pressure from activist investor Third Point to improve its performance. (FT)

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

Striking a Blow for Consumer Choice

General Electric has sold its Industrial Solutions unit to Swiss power grid maker ABB for $2.6 billion. (AP)

Striking a blow for consumer choice, General Mills, the producer of the multi-colored cereal Trix, will be bringing back the original, artificially-colored version after customers complained. "Classic Trix," which is colored artificially, will sit on store shelves alongside the new, natural-flavor version. (CNBC)

Walmart is testing a service to deliver groceries straight to customers' refrigerators. It is partnering with August Home, a provider of smart locks and smart home accessories, to test the service. The delivery person would get access to the customer's house using a pre-authorized one-time passcode and would put away groceries. (Reuters)

According to a Bloomberg Shake Shack, Chipotle, and Wingstop will be added to's delivery service through its partnership with mobile ordering and pay platform Olo.

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

Walgreens Approved To Buy Rite Aid

Walgreens has approval to buy Rite Aid.  They will buy 1,932 Rite Aid stores for $4.38 billion. With the addition of the Rite Aid stores, Walgreens will have about 10,000 locations in the U.S.. Integration will begin in October and be completed in the spring of 2018. The remaining 1,200 Rite Aid stores will go to another buyer. (OregonLive)


The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales fell 1.7% in August.  That is the fourth decline in five months. To blame is a lack of available homes to buy. The median existing-home price in August was $253,500, up 5.6%. Total housing inventory in August declined 2.1% and is 6.5% lower than a year ago.


Supermarket chain Albertsons, is buying meal-kit delivery service Plated. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Albertsons says Plated meal kits will be offered at its stores, online, and through other distribution options. (Reuters)


The index of leading economic indicators increased 0.4% in August, more-than-expected. The index projects the economy in 6 to 12 months. It tracks 10 components, including manufacturers' new orders, stock prices and average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance. (CNBC)


The S&P 500 is down 2 and the NASDAQ is down 14.  The MSCI international index is lower.

Oil is down 12 cents at $50.43 a barrel.

Gold is up $4 at $1298 a Troy ounce.

Amazon Will Open New Fulfillment Ctr

Amazon will open another fulfillment center in North Portland in 2018, creating 1,000 full-time jobs. That is in addition to the opening of fulfillment centers in Troutdale and Salem next year along with another 2,500 jobs. The Portland facility will be 918,400-square-feet. (OregonLive)


NORPAC Foods officially notified Oregon employment officials the company will close its Hermiston Foods plant in November and eliminate 199 jobs. The closure is tied to NORPAC's decision to sell its canning operations to Seneca Foods. (OBN)


Last week, the bull market that started in March 2009 moved ahead of the bull market from 1949 to 1956 to officially make it the second largest bull market gain since World War II. The current gain of 270% is second only to the 417% gain seen during the bull market of the 1990s. (LPL Research)


Communications chipmaker Qorvo, the combination in 2015 of Hillsboro-based TriQuint Semiconductor and North Carolina, RF Micro Devices, plans to eliminate an unspecified number of jobs. Qorvo's employs about 1,000 at a factory and administrative office in Hillsboro. Qorvo did not specify when the cuts will take place, or how large they will be. (Oregon Live)


The S&P 500 is down 2 and the NASDAQ is down 4.  The MSCI international index is higher.

Oil is down 53 cents at $50.16 a barrel.

Gold is down $21 at $1296 a Troy ounce.

Gun Stocks Rose Tuesday

Toys 'R' Us, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They have 1,600 stores and 64,000 employees. Stores and online sites remain open. The company has debt from a $6.6 billion buyout in 2005 by private equity firms. It's the second-largest retail bankruptcy, trailing the filing in 2002 by Kmart. (Reuters)


The Commerce Department says housing starts slipped 0.8% in August. Single-family home permits fell 1.5%, while permits for the construction of multi-family homes soared 19.6%.


The Labor Department says import prices rose 0.6% in August. In the last 12 months import prices have surged 2.1%. The report also showed export prices rose 0.6% in August. They have increased 2.3% year-on-year.


FedEx will raise shipping rates in January. FedEx Express, Ground and Home Delivery will go up about 5%. The One Rate shipping, which offers a simple flat price, will increase 3.5% (CNBC) 


Gun stocks rose yesterday as President Trump prepares to ease rules for overseas sales of US guns. Strum Ruger stock was up 13% and American Outdoors was up 10%.     (Yahoo Finance)


The S&P 500 is up 1 and the NASDAQ is flat. The MSCI international index is higher. 

Oil is up 57 cents at $50.05 a barrel.

Gold is up $7 at $1318 a Troy ounce.

The S&P 500 Five New Highs

The Fed's policy making arm, the FOMC, will starts its sixth of eight meetings today. We do not expect a rate hike, but do expect to see the Fed announce the start of its balance sheet normalization program. Markets will be parsing the Fed statement, economic projections, and press conference comments for any sign of a shift in the Fed's inflation expectations and what that could mean for the future path of rate hikes. (LPL Research)


The Dow closed at a new high five consecutive days and was higher seven days in a row. Incredibly, the Dow had a 9-day new-high streak in July and August, and a 12-day new-high streak in February. The S&P 500, meanwhile, made new highs five of the past six days. (LPL Research)


The mining equipment market will grow next year boosting Caterpillar's business, according to UBS.  Caterpillar stock is up 33% year to date. 


The Wall Street Journal reports the damage from hurricanes Harvey and Irma stands to hinder US economic growth as August saw a 0.9% drop in industrial production and a 0.2% decline in spending at retailers. Americans’ perceptions of the economy which was highest before the storms since 2000 and are now 1.5% lower, according to the University of Michigan.


The S&P 500 is up 9 and the NASDAQ is flat.  The MSCI international index is higher.  

Oil is up 33 cents at $50.25 a barrel.

Gold is flat at $1311 a Troy ounce.

98 Days Until Christmas

98 days till Christmas and Macy's will increase by 20% the number of workers it hires during the holiday shopping season to fill online orders.  They will hire 18,000 holiday workers to fulfill online orders, an increase of about 3,000 from last year. Total hiring for the holiday season will be 83,000 workers. Target said it will hire 43% more seasonal workers, or a total of 100,000, for the holiday season. Staffing firm Radial expects retailers, to hire 35% more workers this holiday season.


The Commerce Department says retail sales fell in August by 0.2%. The hurricanes put the brakes on shoppers as motor vehicle sales tumbled 1.6%. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity and has increased at a 3.3% rate through the second quarter. Sales at building material stores fell 0.5%, receipts at service stations increased 2.5%, sales at electronics and appliance stores fell 0.7% and receipts at clothing stores dropped 1.0%.


People are cutting the cord at a faster rate according to eMarketer. There will be 22.2 million cord cutters this year. That is up more than 33% over 2016. As a result, TV ad spend expectations for 2017 are expected to expand by only 0.5% to $71.65 billion.


The S&P 500 is up 4 and the NASDAQ is up 10.  The MSCI international index is higher.

Oil is down 30cents at $49.59 a barrel.

Gold is down $9 at $1316 a Troy ounce.


Consumer Prices Rose

The Labor Department says consumer prices rose 0.4% in August. These gains are the largest in seven months and CPI is up 1.9% year-on-year. Gasoline prices surged 6.3%, the biggest gain since January. Food prices rose 0.1% and the cost of rental accommodation surged 0.4%. .

The Census Bureau says Oregon's median household income is $59,135. Oregon's poverty rate is 13.3%.

President Donald Trump has blocked the $1.3 billion sale of Lattice Semiconductor to Chinese investors over national security concerns. Founded in Oregon 34 years ago by veterans of Tektronix and Intel, Lattice makes a class of programmable computer chip used in consumer gadgets and industrial and networking equipment. (OregonLive)

Chinese economic data was weaker than expected. Retail sales were up 10.1% (year-over-year); while industrial production grew at 6%, both less than expectations and previous data. (LPL Research)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio, the truth in wealth building, when we will talk about if inflation is about to take off.

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

Record Closing Highs

It was record closing highs for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq yesterday as the session marked the first time all three have closed at record highs on the same day since July 26th.

The Census Bureau reports middle-class income hit a record level in 2016. Median household income was $59,039, surpassing the previous record of $58,655 set in 1999. The poverty rate fell to 12.7%. Lowest since 2007.

Major events such as hurricanes have both human and economic impacts. Reinsurers lost almost 2% in market cap last week and gained almost all that back this week. It appears that economic growth in the third quarter could see a hit of -0.5% to -1.0% to GDP, bringing growth down to ~2.0%, due to storm damage. The rebuilding process, though, will last for some time, boosting output by a similar magnitude in ensuing quarters. Material, energy, and home improvement retailers are among those poised to potentially benefit. (LPL Research)

It is not just the big boys that have security worries. Bright Wood, Jefferson County’s biggest employer, has notified its 915 workers of a security breach. Names, birthdates, addresses and Social Security numbers may have been compromised. (KTVZ)

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

52 Weeks in a Row...

...without a big weekly decline. The S&P 500 has now gone 52 straight weeks without closing lower by at least 2%. This is the longest such streak since 61 weeks in a row that ended in late 1995. The longest ever was 90 consecutive weeks ending in December 1958. (LPL Research)

Busy week of economic data ahead. Small business optimism, labor market turnover, inflation, industrial production, and retail sales. Overseas, a plethora of Chinese data is due out, including inflation, retail sales, industrial production, money supply, and new loan growth. (LPL Research)

The National Federation of Independent Business reported its small business optimism index for August rose 0.1% to 105.3, matching the year-to-date high posted in January. Some 28% of small business owners reported raising employees' pay in the past three months. Only 15% of small business owners are planning to raise wages in the next three months. Business owners said their single most important problem is taxes (20%), followed by quality of labor (19%). Government regulations and red tape (16%) and cost/availability of insurance (11%) were the third and fourth most-cited problems.

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

Market Leadership Continues to Shift

When I was a kid it was the go to place, but the Salishan Spa & Golf Resort on the Oregon Coast is up for auction. The minimum starting bid is $5.25 million. The resort underwent a $7 million remake over the past two years. The property is currently bank-owned. Built in 1965 Salishan sold in 1996 for $25.3 million and sold again in 2003 for $13 million. (PBJ)

Market leadership continues to shift as the healthcare sector hit new absolute and relative highs versus the S&P 500 Index. Biotechnology stocks are at their highest levels in over two years and small cap healthcare stocks are also working well for investors, which is one of the lone groups supporting small caps. (LPL Research)

Panasonic is eliminating 92 jobs as it closes its Salem solar energy operations. Layoffs will begin on November 4th. Panasonic bought the factory from Sanyo in 2012. Domestic solar producers have struggled to compete against less expensive Chinese imports. (Oregon Live)

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is floating the idea to provide relief for those suffering from the hurricanes by allowing affected residents to access their 401(k) retirement savings without paying a penalty, but pay taxes. Bad idea. (CNBC)

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

10 months without a 3% Correction

The Labor Department says worker productivity rose at a 1.5% annualized rate in the second quarter.  Compared to the second quarter of 2016, productivity increased at a 1.3% rate. That is the strongest performance in two years.
Wage growth has remained sluggish even as the labor market nears full employment as unit labor costs fell at a 0.2% rate.

CNBC is reporting Toys R Us has hired a law firm to help restructure its roughly $400 million in debt due in 2018, a move that could include the marquee toy store filing for bankruptcy protection.

Yesterday officially marked 10 consecutive months without so much as a 3% correction for the S&P 500. Dating back to 1928, this is now the second longest streak ever without a 3% correction, bested only by 11 months in the mid-1990s. (LPL Research)

American Outdoor Brands, the former Smith and Wesson saw a sharp drop in quarterly earnings and sales, and lowered its fiscal 2018 guidance, as the firearms business slows. (CNBC)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will give you the truth in wealth building.

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

Just 109 Days 'til Christmas

Portland-based helicopter operator Erickson has named Doug Kitani as their new CEO. Kitani is a West Point graduate who has worked in the defense contractor and aerospace industry for the past 14 years. For the past three years, he was CEO at IAP Worldwide Services. (Oregon Live)

Frozen concentrated orange juice futures are spiking higher as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida. In 2017 Florida was expected to produce more than half of the U.S. oranges and nearly half of the nation’s grapefruit. (CNBC)

Just 109 days till Christmas and Wal-Mart has started its holiday layaway plan. The program allows customers to put as little as $10 down to hold items with a minimum sales price of $50. (CNBC)

Nike has informed the State of Oregon it is terminating 490 workers. The reductions, all non-union workers, will take place by September 30th. Nike employs more than 70,000 workers world-wide and over 12,000 in Oregon. (PBJ)

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

Summer vacation is over...

...and traders are back at their desks. The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.6% in August to mark its fifth consecutive monthly gain. The Dow has also gained five months in a row, while the Nasdaq has been higher nine of the past 10 months. On a total return basis, including dividends, the S&P 500 gained for the tenth consecutive month. That is the longest streak since 10 in a row in 1995. (LPL Research)

Apple is getting closer to the $1 trillion valuation mark. Shares of the iPhone maker hit another all-time high last week. At about $163, they are just $30 a share away from making Apple the first U.S. company to cross the $1 trillion threshold in terms of market capitalization. (CNBC)

Costco saw a 6.1% increase in U.S. same-store sales, excluding gasoline, for August, topping the 3.7% percent consensus estimate. (Reuters)

A sign of the digital age. As the human attention span shortens, so do the efforts to capture it. For NFL games on FOX this season, the network will debut six-second commercials. They'll be used along with the more traditional 15-second and 30-second spots. (NBC Sports)

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

Flir Systems Says They're Reorganizing

The Department of Labor says the US economy added 156,000 new jobs in August, 165,000 in the private sector and government cut 9,000 jobs.  The unemployment rate was up to 4.4%.

Reuters and Bloomberg report Oregon’s largest tech company, Lattice Semiconductor, is making a direct appeal to President Trump to salvage its sale to Chinese firm Canyon Bridge Capital Partners. The company, backed by the Chinese government, has made an offer for Lattice of $1.3 billion, or $8.30 a share.

Wilsonville based Flir Systems, says their new CEO is reorganizing.  Flir COO Tom Surran will resign effective September 30th. Flir is a manufacturer of night-vision and thermal imaging cameras. Flir reported $1.66 billion in revenue last year, and profits of $167 million.

The Commerce Department said U.S. consumer spending rose 0.3% in July and inflation increased at a 1.4% annualized rate, its slowest pace since late 2015.
Personal income increased 0.4% last month. Wages and salaries advanced 0.5%.

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will talk about – is it better after 50?

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



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