Business News Archives for 2018-09

Is this like Rats Leaving a Sinking Ship?

New orders for manufactured durable goods rose 4.5% in August. Growth last month matched the strongest pace in a year. However, orders excluding transportation reflect a slowdown in manufacturing as escalating trade anxieties increasingly weigh on U.S. firms. Excluding transportation, durable goods rose 0.1% in the month. Capital expenditures, measured by new nondefense capital goods orders (excluding aircraft and parts), declined for the first time since March. Shipments of these capital goods, which contribute directly to gross domestic product, grew 0.1%.  Unfilled orders ticked up to a record $1.18 billion amid growing tariff-induced supply chain disruptions. (LPL)


Amazon is expanding its grocery delivery service from Whole Foods stores to more cities across the U.S. The service is available in Milwaukee, Omaha, Detroit, Jacksonville, Madison, Orlando, St. Louis, Ann Arbor, Tampa and Tulsa. (CNBC)


Is this like rats leaving a sinking ship? J.C. Penney CFO Jeffrey Davis is resigning to pursue a new opportunity, after less than a year and a half on the job. (CNBC)


Join us on this great station this weekend for Financial Focus Radio, the truth and wealth building. Check out the website for day and time.


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

Calm Seas

If you think markets have been relatively calm lately you are right. The S&P 500 Index has now gone 64 consecutive days without a 1% change either up or down, the fourth-longest streak since 1990.  (LPL)


According to the Mortgage Bankers Association mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 3 percent for the week and were 4 percent higher on the year.  Applications to refinance a home loan increased 3 percent for the week and are 34.5 percent lower than one year ago.


Retailers Could Hire Over 700,000 Seasonal Workers This Holiday Season. Retailers are expected to hire more than 700,000 seasonal workers for the December holidays. The most since 2015, according to a Challenger Gray Christmas analysis of federal jobs data. 


Business Insider reported that with the holiday season approaching, “retailers are scrambling to figure out how to win over workers.” Target, which “is seeking 120,000 workers this season, up by 20% from the year before,” is offering “all new hires, including part-time seasonal workers...a $12-per-hour minimum wage.” JCPenney is offering paid time off and even offering 401(k) benefits for some, Kohl’s is giving seasonal workers a 35 percent discount on purchases. 


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

10-Year Climbs

Consumer confidence is at its highest level since 2000. The Consumer Confidence Index reached 138.4 according to the Conference Board. 


The 10-year Treasury yield rose for a sixth straight day yesterday, its longest streak of gains since May, to 3.10%. Investors around the world have pivoted back into risky assets recently, boosting the MSCI All-Country World Index to its second straight weekly gain last week (and fourth in five weeks). The 10-year yield's resilience is especially impressive given it's trading a few basis points away from a 7-year high. (LPL)


Home prices continued to rise at a slower pace in July. Prices have been increasing at a slower rate since April. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index reported a 6% annual gain in July, down from 6.2% in the previous month. 


Inspire Brands is buying drive-in fast-food chain Sonic for  $2.3 billion in cash including assumption of debt. Inspire already owns more than 4,700 Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings and Rusty Taco restaurants. Arby's purchased Buffalo Wild Wings in November 2017. Sonic will become a privately-held subsidiary of Inspire Brands and will continue to operate as an independent brand. (CNBC) 


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

Big Meeting

The Federal Reserve's (Fed's) monetary policy meeting is the highlight of this week, culminating in a policy decision and a press conference from Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday. An interest rate hike later this week is almost a foregone conclusion, so investors will likely focus more on the Fed's projections for future policy and economic growth. (LPL)


The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased 0.4% in August and 6.4% year over year. The LEI, which is a composite of 10 economic indicators (like manufacturers' new orders, stock prices, and weekly unemployment claims), shows that the economic expansion is still intact and healthy. The LEI also has turned negative year over year before every economic recession dating back to the 1970s. (LPL)


Walmart is warning that new U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports may prompt the retailer to raise prices. (Reuters)

McDonald's raised its quarterly dividend to $1.16 per share from $1.01, a rise of 15 percent. The restaurant chain has now increased its dividend for 42 straight years. (CNBC)


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

Sirius Buys Pandora

The Dow finally joined its index peers in record territory, rising nearly 1% Thursday to close at a fresh record high after a 237-day drought. The Dow has lagged the S&P 500 Index, the Nasdaq Composite, and the Russell 2000 this year amid escalating trade tensions, which have weighed on shares of larger, multinational U.S. companies. The S&P 500 also closed at a record high Friday, its sixth in the last month.(LPL)


Existing home sales remained unchanged at 5.34 million in August, the lowest level since March 2016. Year over year, existing home sales fell 1.5%, the sixth straight decline for the data. Existing home sales, which account for 85-90% of total home sales, are a prime signal of a cooling U.S. housing market, an area of the economy that still hasn't fully recovered since the financial crisis. Housing is an important part of output, accounting for approximately 15% of gross domestic product if you include the money spent on construction, maintenance, and rent. (LPL)


Embattled Wells Fargo is slashing its workforce by five to ten percent over the next three years, as the bank aims to reduce costs by $4 billion by 2020. Wells Fargo currently employs around 264,500 workers. (CNBC)


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

3% on 10-Year

Amazon is considering opening 3,000 of its cashierless stores by 2021 according to Bloomberg. It currently has three locations — known as Amazon Go — open in Seattle. It just opened a new location in Chicago.


Higher risk appetite has boosted longer-term yields as investors pivot to stocks from government bonds (leading to lower Treasury prices and higher yields). The 10-year yield has closed above 3% for three straight days for just the second time since July 2011. The 10-year yield is also close to crossing its seven-year closing high. (LPL)


USA Today reported, “Americans’ incomes are rising, and a declining share of households are mired in poverty” in “a sign that the healthy economy is lifting Americans across the financial spectrum.” Median US household income rose 1.8 percent to an all-time high of $61,372, according to the Census Bureau. 


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development lowered its global growth forecast to 3.7% through the end of 2019, down from its March projection of 3.9%. The OECD highlighted increasing downside risks to the global economy, including narrowing growth in major global economies and higher uncertainty around monetary policy normalization and trade restrictions. (LPL)


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

SS Pay Raise

Inconsistent housing recovery evident in August data. Housing starts, or the number of new housing units that have started construction, grew 9.2% in August. On the other hand, building permits declined 5.7% month over month, their biggest slide since February 2017. The NAHB homebuilders' sentiment index remained unchanged at a 10-month low in August. The housing recovery continues to flash conflicting signs, even as consumer sentiment has climbed in other areas of the economy. Housing is an important part of output, accounting for approximately 15% of gross domestic product. (LPL) 


After nearly a decade of little to no increases in Social Security benefits, the Senior Citizens League, a senior advocacy organization, forecasts benefits will jump by 2.8 percent in 2019 – the largest increase in seven years. That would boost the average beneficiary’s check by $39 per month. The cost of living adjustment was 2 percent in 2018.


Avon Products (AVP) was recently approached by Brazilian cosmetics company Natura Cosmeticos about a possible takeover, according to sources quoted by Dow Jones.


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

Christmas Hiring

A record-low 12% of Americans currently cite some aspect of the economy as the most important problem facing the U.S., down from 17% last month and one percentage point below the previous low of 13% recorded in May 1999. Mentions of the economy as the top problem reached 86% in February 2009, the highest in recent decades. (Gallup)


According to an American Action Forum analysis, the Trump Administration scrapped federal regulations at a record pace this year and saved taxpayers $1.3 billion, double the goal set by the president.


With just 97 days till Christmas the Wall Street Journal says retailers are struggling to fill seasonal positions ahead of the annual holiday rush, with the number of job openings surpassing the number of hires between March and June for the first time in ten years. Some retailers have started hiring holiday workers earlier this year, offering higher wages and extra perks, and hosting large recruiting fairs.


Average fund fees paid by investors decreased 8% in 2017. Morningstar's annual study of U.S. open-end mutual funds and exchange-traded funds looks at the largest one-year decline ever, and how it saved investors roughly $4 billion in fund expenses. 


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

Back at 3%

The 10-year Treasury yield climbed above 3% yesterday, testing what has been a psychological level for the yield this year. The 10-year yield has trended higher after it jumped 7 bps -- the most on a jobs report day since January 2017 - on September 7, when the August jobs report showed average hourly earnings grew at their fastest pace of the cycle. Calming global conditions have also helped lift longer-term Treasury yields. (LPL)


Eighty-two percent of American meals are prepared at home -- more than were cooked 10 years ago, according to researcher NPD Group Inc. The latest peak in restaurant-going was in 2000, when the average American dined out 216 times a year. That figure fell to 185 for the year ended in February, NPD said. (Bloomberg)


US capital expenditures are on the rise, with the $341 billion spent this year, putting it on pace to set a 25-year high. Companies are using the windfall from last year's tax cuts to spend freely, and first-half earnings rose some 25 percent for the S&P 500. (CNBC)


Share buybacks total more in 2018 than capital expenditures, the first time at least a decade, according to Goldman Sachs.


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

Monday, Monday

U.S. stocks rebounded nicely last week amid the recovery in global equities. The S&P 500 posted its fifth straight gain Friday, its longest winning streak since before the February sell-off. Positive developments in emerging-market countries and U.S. trade officials' efforts to arrange a new round of trade talks with China have boosted the MSCI All-Country World Index to five straight days of gains. (LPL)

After a mixed set of Chinese data on credit and lending conditions last week, the overall picture remains stable. Retail sales rose a solid 9% year over year. Industrial production expanded by 6.1%. (LPL)

Retail sales climb for a seventh month, their longest streak of gains since 2014. Retail sales in the U.S. rose 0.1% last month. Consistent growth in retail sales reflects the health of the U.S. consumer, emboldened by fiscal stimulus implemented earlier this year. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of GDP, so it is an important barometer for overall economic health. (LPL)

Amazon is investigating suspected data leaks and bribes of its employees. The actions were designed to give an edge to independent merchants who sell their products on Amazon. (WSJ)

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

A Better Week

The Labor Department said that consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in August as declines in healthcare and clothing costs offset increases in the price of gasoline and rents.

According to the JOLTS report the number of U.S. job openings increased to 6.94 million in July, a record high. Higher job openings signal a healthy labor market with motivated employers. The more interesting was the quit rate, or voluntary quits as a percent of separations, which climbed to a 17-year high. An increasing number of workers quitting their jobs can put upward pressure on wages, boosting inflationary pressures in the economy.

Cross marketing and media content are all the rage. Mattel is launching a theatrical film division to produce features based on its popular toys like Barbie, Hot Wheels, and other brands. (CNBC)

Hershey is buying Pirate Brands, the makers of the very yummy Pirate’s Booty from B&G Foods for $420 million in cash. (CNBC)

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio when Tyler and I will talk about the burning question, “should retirees worry about inflation”.

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

Tattoos for Pizza

The Labor Department said U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent in August. Its first drop in 1-1/2 years, as declines in the prices of food and trade services offset an increase in the cost of energy. YOY PPI rose 2.8 percent.

Wells Fargo's plan to reimburse customers who had improperly been sold auto insurance was rejected by regulators. The bank must do more to make sure it has located and compensated every affected driver. (Reuters)

According to Goldman Sachs and Conde Nast’s 2018 Top Brands & Retailers Millennials Love report, Amazon is the leading destination for millennial men, with men ranking the site as their “favorite place to shop” in nearly every category. Men “tend to stick with what they know and like, rather than seek out new products, therefore they turn to Amazon as their one-stop shop.”

Sometimes good marketing ideas go wrong. As part of a Domino's Forever Campaign in Russia, the company offered 100 free pizzas each year for 100 years to customers that got tattoos of the brand's logo on visible parts of their body. Due to the surging number of people getting the tattoo Domino's curtailed the number of accepted winners to 350. (CNBC)

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

Small Biz

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for August reached 108.8, a new record in the survey’s history. Small business plans to create new jobs and job openings hit a 45-year high. The survey showed new records of small business owners who believe now is a good time to expand.

On Friday, the 10-year Treasury yield jumped the most on a jobs report day since January 2017 after August data showed average hourly earnings grew at their fastest pace of the economic cycle. Accelerating wage growth has re-ignited inflation expectations. (LPL)

ValueInsureds Modern Homebuyer Survey says 63 percent of respondents predicted home prices will see a correction within two years, the highest share since Spring 2016. Asked what will lower home prices, fifty-four percent said rising mortgage rates, 33 percent said the reduction in homeownership incentives under the 2017 tax reform, 16 percent said a stock market correction, and 11 percent said trade wars.

Schmidt's Deodorant, owned by consumer products giant Unilever, will close its Northeast Portland factory and lay off all 57 employees. Workers will lose their jobs effective October 31st. (Oregonian)

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

Officially Entered a Bear Market

So much for sell in May and going away. The S&P 500 Index has now posted five consecutive monthly gains. This rare feat is actually quite bullish: the S&P 500 has been up a year later in 24 of the 25 times this has happened. The most recent occurrence was actually a year ago, and the S&P 500 gained 17.4% over the ensuing 12 months. (LPL)

Last week, emerging market (EM) stocks officially entered a bear market, posting a 20% decline from their late-January peak. (Yahoo Finance)

On September 14, 2008, the day before Lehman failed, if you had bought the S&P 500 index you be up 130%. You would have been underwater underwater even three years later. But in the last 10 years the S&P 500 is up 130 percent and has posted an annual total return of 11 percent. A 60/40 stock/bond portfolio has returned 8 percent over the same 10 years. This is a great example of it is time in the market, not timing the market that counts. (CNBC)

Starbucks' Frappuccino is getting a makeover. The U.S. coffee giant is putting its drink on a diet, looking to reduce its high sugar levels, which have scared away health-conscious consumers and hurt sales. (WSJ)

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

Four Days Down

September has historically been a troublesome month for U.S. stocks. In fact, it has the lowest average return out of all 12 months going back to 1950. So far, September 2018 is off to a tough start, with the S&P 500 down all four days so far this month. Only twice in history has the S&P 500 fallen the first 4 days of September, in 1987 and 2001. (LPL)


Nonfarm payrolls rose 201K in August, The unemployment rate (3.9%) remained near its lowest level since 2000. Overall, job growth is slowing, which is expected this late in the cycle, but the labor market remains solid. Average hourly earnings rose 2.9% year over year, its fastest pace of growth in this economic cycle. (LPL)


The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM's) Non-Manufacturing (Services) Index climbed to 58.5 in August, one of its highest readings of the economic cycle. Purchasing Managers Index, a gauge of manufacturing health, rose to a 14-year high last month. With the services and manufacturing sectors firing on all cylinders, the U.S. economy could be poised for another strong quarter of economic growth. (LPL)


Costco says same store sales rose 9.5 percent in August. (Yahoo Finance)


S&P 500 is up 14 and the NASDAQ is up 37. The MSCI international index is lower.

Oil is up 29 cents at $68.04 a barrel.

Gold is down $3 at $1198 a Troy ounce.


BIG Jobs Report

The Labor Department says the US economy added 201,000 jobs in the month of August. The unemployment rate remains unchanged at 3.9%. This in conjunction with yesterday’s unemployment report of 203,000 new claims, the lowest level since 1969, shows just how red-hot the job market is.

The Great Oregon Wine Co. has purchased Duck Pond Cellars. The price wasn’t disclosed. Great Oregon is owned by Integrated Beverage Group. Duck Pond, focused on pinot noir and pinot gris. (PBJ)

U.S. trade deficit in July widened by $4.3 billion, the most since March 2015, to $50.1 billion. The U.S. trade deficit has widened for two straight months after $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports were implemented in early July. The widening deficit is further evidence of tariffs' economic drag, which we estimate will weigh on gross domestic product growth this year. (LPL)

Nation’s Restaurant News says 67 percent of restaurant operators “cited increased competition for workers as a key driver in rising costs.”

Join us this weekend for Financial Focus Radio. Tyler and I will discuss this week’s big tech selloff.

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

Jobs Come in Focus

Doug Fisher, vice president of Intel's software group and a senior Oregon executive is retiring. Fisher, 57, is an Oregon State University graduate and has worked for Intel for 23 years. (Oregonian)

Delta Dental of California is investing $155 million for a 50 percent ownership stake in Portland-based health insurer Moda. Moda lost $10.1 million in the first half of the year.
Moda's lines of business include health and dental insurance, as well as a specialty pharmacy. (PBJ)

Mortgage Bankers Association says applications to purchase a home increased 1 percent for the week and were 2 percent higher than a year ago.

The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index jumped to a 14-year high of 61.3%.

The Paychex Small Business Employment Watch for August shows a continued decrease in the rates of small business jobs and wage growth, it also reveals that weekly hours worked are on the rise. The top regions for employment growth and wage growth, respectively, are the South and West.

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

CEO Optimism

It's hard to believe, but we are officially in the month of September. Although this means football and cooler weather, it also means a historically poor month for stocks. Since 1950, September has been the worst month of the year for the S&P 500. The good news is when the S&P 500 starts September above its 200-day moving average (like 2018), the returns have been much better. (LPL)
The overall trend in CEO optimism has remained largely unchanged, maintaining favorable levels over the past year. In Q2 2018, the Vistage CEO Confidence Index was 104.1.
American Outdoor Brands reported an adjusted quarterly profit of 21 cents per share. The parent company of Smith & Wesson was helped by new products and reduced discounts. The company said it would have stronger than expected growth for the current quarter. (CNBC)
Uber will start operations in Eugene and Springfield next Thursday. (ERG)
Kah-nee-ta Resort & Spa will close for good on today eliminating 146 jobs. Kah-nee-ta opened in 1964. (Oregonian)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart. 

The Good News?

We start a new month of trading this morning. Since 1950, the S&P 500 has been higher in April, May, June, July, and August only 5 times. 2018 was the 6th time. The good news? In the past instances the final 4 months have never been lower and the usually tricky September is actually quite strong. (LPL)

Personal income rose 0.3% in the month, reducing year-over-year growth to 4.7%. (LPL)

Core personal consumption expenditures (excluding food and energy), the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) preferred inflation gauge, rose 2.0% year over year in July, matching the Fed's target for the first time since 2012.

A federal agency has ruled that Canadian paper imports don't hurt American producers. This eliminates tariffs that had raised prices and squeezed margins at struggling newspapers. (Bloomberg)

The Portland headquartered General Steel Drum company has acquired North Coast Container of Cleveland, Ohio. General Steel Drum is owned by the Stavig family. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. (PBJ)

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


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