Business News Archives for 2017-11

What's Going On in the Muni Market?

The National Association of Realtors pending existing home sales index rose 3.5% in November. That is the highest level since June. Existing inventory has decreased every month on an annual basis for 29 consecutive months, and the number of homes for sale at the end of October was the lowest for the month since 1999.

The former CEO and CFO of the Bank of Oswego were convicted of a conspiracy to conceal the bank's bad financial condition. A jury found them guilty of 12 counts of making false entries in the bank's books to hide bad loans. (PBJ)

The Municipal Bond Index is down 0.3% over the past month, while the high-quality U.S. Aggregate Bond Index has gained 0.5%. The main reason for the divergence in these two indexes is the ongoing tax reform debate. Language in the House tax reform proposal would remove tax exemption from private activity, tax credit, and advance refunding bonds that are issued after December 31, 2017.  This has led issuers to push to get new offerings in ahead of the December 31 deadline, which will likely lead to a increased supply through year end, which has put pressure on prices. (LPL)

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

Nose Bleed Levels?

The Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence hit 129.5 in November its highest level in nearly 17 years. That is much stronger than expected. The index takes into account Americans' views of current economic conditions and their expectations for the next six months.


For the week ending November 18, new claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 13,000 to 239,000.

The less volatile four-week average rose slightly to 239,750. Jobless claims have now held below 300,000 for 142 weeks, or nearly three years, the longest such streak since 1970. Analysts say, however, that the levels in fact represent an absolute low, given the increase in the population in the last 47 years. (AFP)


The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index rose in September at a 6.2% annual rate. 


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development updated its gross domestic product growth forecast to 3.6% from 3.5%, supported by policy stimulus and being accompanied by solid employment gains, a moderate upturn in investment, and a pick-up in trade growth. It also noted that the global economy is now growing at its fastest pace since 2010. (LPL)


The S&P 500 is up 3 and the NASDAQ is down 0. The MSCI international index is lower.

Oil is down 10 cents at $57.86 a barrel.

Gold is down $2 at $1298 a Troy ounce.

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


Housing Prices Surge

The Commerce Department said new home sales in October rose 6.2%. That marks the third straight monthly gain and the best sales since October 2007. There is a shrinking supply of existing homes for sale. There is only 4.9 months' supply of newly-built homes on the market, the lowest reading since July 2016. The number of sales listings for existing homes has tumbled 10.4% from a year ago to just 1.8 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's the fewest number of homes on the market for any October since the Realtors began tracking the data in 1999. The average sales price of a new home jumped 13.6% over the past 12 months to $400,200. (FBN)

According to Adobe Analytics, online sales on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday rose 17.9% to $7.9B. Online sales on Black Friday alone increased nearly 16% to a record $5B. Cyber Monday sales are estimated up 16.5% to a record $6.6B. According to ShopperTrak, Black Friday traffic at retailers was down by <1%. According to price-tracking firm Market Track, the average Black Friday advertised discount across 17 categories was 45% this year compared with 48% last year. Only three of eight major retailers offered deeper discounts than they did a year ago. (LPL)

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

Chicago Fed National Activity Index Up

The Commerce Department said new orders for capital goods unexpectedly fell 0.5% in October. That was the biggest drop since September 2016. Strong business spending on equipment boosted manufacturing, orders for machinery increased 0.6%. Manufacturing accounts for 12% of the U.S. economy. Last month orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components climbed 0.8%.

The University of Michigan's survey of consumer attitudes for November rose to 98.5 in November. Expected changes in inflation rates for the following year, also tracked in the survey, are expected to creep up to 2.6 after landing at a 10-month low at 2.4 in October.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index, an aggregate of over 80 economic indicators that attempts to paint an overall picture of the economy each month, posted its best number in October since January 2012. Strong data over the last month is also reflected in the Citi Economic Surprise Index, which measures the performance of economic data versus economist consensus expectations, which hit a multi-year high Wednesday, reaching its strongest level since early 2014.

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

Mrs. Reinhart did not get the Memo

Stocks posted record highs yesterday. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% to finish at 2,599. The index broke above 2,600 for the first time ever during the session. The tech-laden Nasdaq rose 1.1% to 6,862. Markets are closed tomorrow and will hold an abbreviated session on Friday.

According to the National Association of Home Builders home builder sentiment rose to 70, up two points in November. This number is the highest since March of this year and the second highest on record. The index stood at 63 in November of last year.

Smucker, owners of Jif peanut butter, jams, Folgers and Dunkin Donuts-branded coffee, Meow Mix and 9 Lives hiked prices on Jif and Smucker's-brand jellies 6% last January. That pushed sales up 1% last quarter, and profits in its consumer food division was up 10%. (CNNMoney)

Mrs. Reinhart did not get the memo.  A survey of 1,000 PNW residents conducted by Washington State University's Carson College of Business said 64% aren't planning to partake in Black Friday 2017 by going out. 65% say they will likely shop online instead.

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when we will host a post-Thanksgiving wealth building feast.

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

Leading Economic Indicators Rose

As we head into Thanksgiving week, investors have many things for which to be thankful; from a global bull market in equities, to very few signs of a recession starting over the next 12-18 months. In honor of everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving Day bird, did you know that the size of your average turkey has grown substantially over the past 50 years? That’s right; the average turkey was 17 pounds in 1960 and was more than 30 pounds last year. (LPL)

S&P 500 earnings and revenue growth each ticked 0.1% higher over the past week and are now tracking to 8.2% and 5.4% year-over-year increases, respectively. Overall earnings growth is tracking to a more than 11% year-over-year increase. (LPL)

Leading economic indicators rose by 1.2% in October. The index "suggests that solid growth in the US economy will continue through the holiday season and into the new year," Conference Board research director Ataman Ozyildirim said in a statement. The index is a closely followed indicator for how healthy the U.S. economy is. The Conference Board tracks 10 components, including manufacturers' new orders, stock prices and average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance. (CNBC)

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

U.S. Industrial Production Lept

The Labor Department said import prices rose 0.2% in October, less than expected. In the last 12 months import prices increased 2.5%. Imported petroleum increased 1.7%, imported capital goods prices rose 0.2% and imported food fell 0.2%. Export prices were unchanged last month. October as the biggest monthly increase in the price of agricultural exports in nearly 1-1/2 years. Export prices are up 2.7% year-over-year. (CNBC)

The Federal Reserve says U.S. industrial production leapt 0.9% in October. Manufacturing activity surged 1.3%. Mining activity slipped 1.3%. October hurricanes caused a decline in oil and gas drilling. Production at utilities rose 2%. Over the past year, industrial production has increased 2.9%. Over the past 12 months, manufacturers have added 156,000 jobs. That's the strongest annual growth since the middle of 2015.

The Georgia-Pacific Camas, Washington paper mill is eliminating 300 jobs. The mill opened in 1885 and employed about 2,400 workers in the 1980s. After the partial closure just 120 to 140 jobs will remain. (The Columbian)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio where we will talk taxes.

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

Consumer Prices Rose 0.1% in October

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose in October by 0.2%. An increase in car purchases offset a decline in demand for building materials. Retail sales were up 4.6% on an annual basis. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. Sales at online retailers fell 0.3%. (CNBC)

The Labor Department said consumer prices rose 0.1% in October. That is a year-on-year increase in the CPI of 2.0%. Gas prices fell 2.4% and food prices were unchanged. (CNBC)

The New York Times reports the Trump Administration is encouraging Obamacare marketplace consumers to use “insurance agents and brokers. Advocates say this “could provide a lifeline for consumers in a confusing and troubled marketplace,” and could be better than nonprofit guides because agents are able to recommend specific health insurance plans.

Wal-Mart earned $1 per share in the third quarter up 2%. Revenue was $123.2 billion, up 4.2% year over year. U.S. same-store sales rose 2.7%. (CNBC)

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

Target reported Third Quarter Profits

The S&P 500 Index has now gone 50 consecutive days without a 0.5% close lower, the longest streak since 57 in 1968. Additionally, with the 0.1% gain Monday, the S&P 500 avoided its first three-day losing streak in three months or 66 trading sessions. This is the longest streak without a three-day losing streak in 7-plus years. (LPL)

The Labor Department says producer prices rose 0.4% in September and in the last 12 months is up 2.8%. That is the biggest annual increase in wholesale inflation in over 5-1/2 years. Prices for services climbed 0.5%, and gasoline dropped 4.6%.

According to the NFIB’s latest Small Business Optimism Index, small business owners expect higher sales and view the present as a favorable time to expand. The 103.8 October Index, an increase from the previous month’s 103, continues a months-long positive streak dating to last November. Four of the Index components rose, five saw a slight decline, and one was unchanged.

Target reported third quarter profits of 91 cents per share on revenue of $16.67 billion. Same-store sales climbed 0.9%. Higher compensation costs including an increase in employee incentives and wage rates drove expenses higher. AP)

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

Roseburg Forest Products has Sold it's California Timberlands

Stocks' eight-week winning streak--longest in four years--ended last Friday. Small caps lagged for the week, partly due to tax reform challenges, with Russell 2000 losing 1.3%; Dow -0.5%, S&P 500 -0.2%, Nasdaq -0.2%. (Yahoo Finance)

After a year and a half of no sea going container service at the Port of Portland it will return in 2017. Swire Shipping will make monthly port calls with shipments of Daimler Trucks’ Western Star trucks to Australia, export containers going to Australia and New Zealand, and import containers coming from Asia. (PBJ)

Oregon based Roseburg Forest Products has sold its California timberlands to a New Forests. The transaction includes 170,000 acres. Founded in 2005, New Forests manages more than 2 million acres of land and forests around the world, with assets under management of more than $3 billion. They are headquartered in Sydney, Australia. (Building Material News)

Dick's Sporting Goods reported a third-quarter profit of $36.9 million. The sporting goods retailer had sales of $1.94 billion. Dick's shares are down 50% in 2017 and down 56% in the last 12 months. (AP)

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

2.9 Million Nonfatal Workplace Injuries & Illnesses

The University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment fell in November, but remains at its second-highest level of the year. The index stands at 97.8 which is off from October which was 101.1, the highest level since 2004. The report supports a forecast of personal consumption spending rising 2.7% in 2018.


Nordstrom had a third quarter profit of 67 cents per share, and revenue came in slightly above forecast. Same store sales were down a 1%, with Nordstrom pointing too negative impacts caused by hurricanes. (CNBC)


In November 2016 Columbia Sportswear relocated 50 employees to their new downtown Portland offices. Now the company is mulling the idea of closing that office. Confrontations with transients and frequent car break-ins are to blame.  (Oregon Live)


There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2016, a rate of 2.9 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


GE is cutting their dividend in half from 24 to 12 cents per share.


The S&P 500 is down 6 and the NASDAQ is down 19. The MSCI international index is lower.

Oil is up 10 cents at $56.83 a barrel.

Gold is up $5 at $1279 a Troy ounce.

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

Open Jobs in October was the Second-Highest on Record

Google is adding 8,000 sf to the 18,000 sf they already occupy in downtown Portland. The tech giant opened the location in 2010. Google now employs 60 people at the location. (OregonLive)

Summit Bank, with headquarters in Eugene and an office in Bend, reported profits of $955,000 in Q3. That is a 13.7% increase year over year. Total assets were up 24.5%. Net loans totaled $268.3 million up $57.9 million in the first three quarters. Deposits increased by $60.3 million in the same period. “This quarter marked our 13th consecutive quarter of year-over-year loan growth exceeding 15%,” said Craig Wanichek, Summit Bank president and CEO. (AP)

US small companies with open jobs in October was the second-highest on record and more businesses owners plan to raise worker wages. Thirty-five percent of small-business owners said they had jobs to fill and 21% said they plan to raise pay in coming months, the largest share since December 2015. (National Federation of Independent Businesses)

Ad Age reports online sales are up 21% vs. flat for brick-and-mortar stores. However, the segment remains small accounting for only 5% of household-product sales.

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

Affordable Lab-Grown Meat

The Dow and S&P 500 are riding eight straight weekly gains. The Nasdaq has notched six positive weeks in a row. This year, the Dow closed at 57 all-time highs, the S&P at 52, and the Nasdaq at 64. That is an all-time record for the Nasdaq. (CNBC)

The largest solar power plant in Oregon has begun operation. The power will be sold to Apple through a long-term power purchase agreement. The farm is outside Prineville.  The plant can produce 56 megawatts and will produce 140,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, equal to what 13,000 Oregon households use in a year. The capital expenditure for the plant is pegged at $120 million. (PBJ)

According to the think tank the world consumes some 50 million tons of beef a year. Unfortunately, cows need to roam (land), eat (corn) and evacuate (green-house gases). And then, of course, there is the killing of the poor creatures themselves. A solution to the ethical, economic and environmental problems may be around the corner. Thanks to human ingenuity, we may soon be able to enjoy an affordable lab-grown meat that will taste and nourish just like the real thing.  

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

GOP Tax Proposal Released

Digging in a little deeper into Fridays big job report, October saw a 261,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls. September's initially reported loss of 33,000 jobs was adjusted to an 18,000 gain. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.1% from 4.2%. But the major driver of the move lower was a decrease in the labor participation rate, from 63.1% to 62.7%. Average hourly earnings were flat month over month. The underemployment rate, arguably a bigger factor in today's economy than the unemployment rate, saw a significant drop from 8.3% in September to 7.9% in October. This number has been trending lower since the financial crisis, but this was the biggest month-over-month drop since January 2014, and it is now at its lowest level since 2006. (BLS)


The tax proposal has been released, but is still just a proposal. Broadly, the reforms were in line with expectations--a corporate tax rate of 20%, fewer individual brackets, and a phase out of the estate tax. Surprises included decrease in the cap on the mortgage interest deduction (from $1 million to $500,000), and no changes to limits on pre-tax 401(k) contributions which had been widely discussed. There are likely to be many changes (and the potential for market-moving headlines) as the bill works its way through Congress. (FBN)


The S&P 500 is down 3 and the NASDAQ is down 2. The MSCI international index is lower.

Oil is up 36 cents at $56.00 a barrel.

Gold is up $3 at $1272 a Troy ounce.

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

US Economy added 260,000 New Jobs

The Department of Labor says the US economy added 261,000 new jobs in October rebounding from the hurricanes. The private sector accounted for 252,000 of the increase. The unemployment rate stands at 4.1%.

Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in a decade yesterday to 0.5% from 0.25%. (Bloomberg)

The Labor Department said on Thursday worker productivity rose at a 3.0% rate. That is the fastest pace in three years.

Oregon’s Electro Scientific Industries reported sales growth in the quarter of 139% posting sales of $71 million. Profits were $4.3 million half what they saw a year ago.
ESI is Oregon's oldest technology company starting in 1944. It currently makes laser tools for electronics manufacturers. (OregonLive)

New York headquartered glass, ceramics and fiber-optics  manufacturer Corning is the buyer of the old Hynix computer chip factory in Eugene. The Eugene Register-Guard reported the 300-acre property's $13.4 million sale on Tuesday. Corning reported $9.4 billion in revenue last year and profits of $3.7 billion.

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

Longest Streak Dating Back to the 1930's

We've noted many times how the action so far this year is like nothing we've seen for decades, as it is a bull market amid historically low volatility. Well, here's another way to show that. The Dow has officially gone 52 consecutive trading days without a 1% intraday move--the longest such streak using data back to the 1930s. Additionally, the S&P 500 hasn't closed down so much as 0.5% for 40 trading sessions, the longest since 44 in 1995. Couple that with the usually volatile months of September and October that were historically dull in 2017 and this year continues to rewrite the history books. (LPL Research)

The ADP National Employment report says the private-sector added 235,000 jobs in September. The service sector accounted for the bulk of the job creation, adding 150,000 jobs. Professional and business services added the most positions, up 109,000. Job losses were seen in the trade, transportation, and information sectors, as well as education.

The Manufacturing ISM Report shows economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in October, and the overall economy grew for the 101st consecutive month. Manufacturing PMI in October 58.7 a decrease of 2.1 points from September. (ISM Report)

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

Now That's a Win Streak!

With the S&P 500 Index closing higher in October it is the longest monthly total return win streak ever going back to 1950. The S&P 500 has been higher an incredible 12 consecutive months on a total return basis, topping the streaks of 11 months in 1954 and 1959. The S&P 500 is up 23% over the past 12 months, which is a lot, but by no means extremely stretched. In fact, going back since 1950, this would rank in the top 76% for all 12-month returns. Again, this has been a solid 12 months, but when putting things in perspective, the past 12 months haven't been what we'd classify as an extreme blow off move; it has been more like slow and steady. It is important to remember that markets don't peak when things are calm, we tend to see more volatility near ultimate market peaks. (LPL Research)

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Price Index was up 6.1% in August. The index posted a 5.9% year-over-year gain. Atlanta was the only major city to record a decline in prices. (Yahoo Finance)

According to the Conference Board Consumer confidence rose to 125.9 in October. That is the highest level in almost 17 years when in December 2000 the index stood at 128.6.

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


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