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Business News Archives for 2019-01


The Congressional Budget Office estimates the economic impact to be ~$5 billion, while S&P pegs the number closer to $10 billion; however, given the U.S. economy is ~$20 trillion, the overall economic impact of the recent shutdown is expected to take ~0.1-0.2% off annualized gross domestic product. So while the longest government shutdown on record has meaningfully impacted furloughed government workers and their families, the overall impact to the economy borders on negligible. (LPL)

 

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says consumer spending and business optimism are strong despite the shutdown and disruption in the global economy. He said, “based on experts and consumer activity, it looks like a solid year for the US, though less growth than last year.” (Reuters)

 

Microsoft reported a quarterly profit of $1.10 per share. Revenue did fall slightly short of forecasts. (CNBC) 

 

In their quest to capture the coveted millennial consumer and their quirky tastes, Coca-Cola is introducing some new flavors. The newest Diet Coke flavors will be strawberry guava and blueberry acai. They join four flavors added last January which were ginger lime feisty cherry, zesty blood orange and twisted mango.

 

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



We’re into the thick of earnings; Apple kicked off big tech earnings beating downwardly revised expectations yesterday, but more are on the docket. Facebook and Microsoft are scheduled to report results today, and Amazon will disclose its quarterly figures on Thursday. Tech stocks helped propel the stock market to record highs last year, but have recently slumped because of slower global demand, rising trade tensions and concerns about stricter regulation. (SA)

 

Boeing reported record revenues of more than $100bn for the full year on strong demand as the blue-chip plane maker’s quarterly results easily beat Wall Street expectations.  The Chicago-based group, delivered 806 jets, reported revenues of $101.1bn for the year to the end of December, with core earnings per share of $16.01. Record commercial deliveries and higher defense volumes helped drive performance. (FT)

 

Similarly positive results over at McDonald’s, as chief executive Steve Easterbrook said a plan to modernize its restaurants was paying off as the world’s biggest hamburger chain produced a 14th consecutive rise in like-for-like sales.  The golden arches has been revamping its outlets globally, rolling out new decor, self-ordering kiosks and free-to-use tablets, delivered a 4.4 per cent year-on-year rise in comparable sales in the fourth quarter. (FT)


Volkswagen held on to its position as the world’s top-selling automaker for the fifth year in a row in 2018, with deliveries rising 0.9% to a record 10.83M. However, just counting cars and light commercial vehicles, the group only sold 10.6M units, less than the 10.76M vehicles sold by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Toyota retained its third spot, selling 10.59M vehicles last year. (SA)

 

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



With 112 S&P 500 companies having reported results, fourth quarter earnings growth for the S&P 500 Index is tracking to a 14.3% year-over-year increase. S&P 500 earnings estimates for the next 12 months have been reduced by 2.1% year to date and may fall further amid slower economic growth, trade tensions, and the government shutdown (LPL)

 

According to PWC 30% of CEOs now think the economy will slow in 2019. That is up from 5% in 2018. 35% of CEOs are “very confident” about growth prospects in 2019.

 

Vancouver-based exercise equipment maker Nautilus 
Lowered its guidance to investors, saying it expects $395-$397 million in revenue for the year and operating income between $20-$21 million. The profit number is 50% lower than what was anticipated. (PBJ)

 

According to the National Association for Business Economics, a rising number of US businesses saw falling sales and lower profit margins as 2018 came too close.  47% of firms in the survey reported rising sales at the end of 2018 down from 61% the previous quarter. The number of businesses reporting following sales jumped from 6% to 17%.

 

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



The S&P 500 spent last week consolidating gains within its expected resistance zone of 2600-2650. Last Friday saw more than 70% of components reach a new 20-day high. Readings above 50% have historically been consistent with higher future returns. Another positive, the Russell 2000 has outperformed the S&P 500 by almost 4% since late-December, suggesting investors' buying hasn't been limited to safer, large-cap names. (LPL)

 

Initial jobless claims fell to 199K in the week ending January 18, the lowest print since 1969. (DOL)

 

LEI points to low recession odds. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI), which is based on a composite of 10 economic indicators, grew 4.3% year over year in December. While LEI growth has tapered off recently, the index has risen year over year for 109 straight months, a sign to us that recessionary odds are low. Since 1970, the LEI has turned negative before every economic recession. 

 

America's favorite Valentine's Day candy won't be available this year. Sweethearts, the conversation heart candy, is missing from shelves this Valentine's season after its original producer went out of business last year. (CNBC) 

 

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



Japan's manufacturing sector fell to the neutral mark in December, according to Purchasing Managers' Index data, after two-and-a-half years of expansion. This follows trade data that showed Japanese exports fell 3.8% year over year in December, the slowest pace in two years.

 

Evio Labs, a marijuana testing company, with facilities in Bend and Eugene, has ceased operations. They voluntarily gave up their license after it was discovered employees were taking home waste materials in violation of all OLCC rules. 

 

China's economy grew 6.4% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 6.6% for the full year, its slowest pace since 1991. (LPL)

 

Ford Motor reported a quarterly profit of 30 cents per share, sales came in above forecasts. Ford lost money in every global region except North America. (CNBC)

 

American factory production grew 1.1 percent in December, the biggest gain since February last year. The increase signaled that US consumer demand may be offsetting a pullback in exports to foreign countries. (WSJ)

 

S&P 500 is up 13 and the NASDAQ is up 36.

Oil is up 21 cents at $53.39 a barrel.

Gold is up $3 at $1283 a Troy ounce.

 

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



China recently dumped $83 billion, into its banking system — a record amount of money injected in one day — in a sign that the economy may be facing stress. (CNBC) 

 

McDonald's lost its right to the trademark for "Big Mac" in a European Union ruling. The case had been brought by Irish fast food chain Supermac's. (CNBC)

 

Oregon-based Columbia helicopters is still selling to the Bristow Group from Texas. This comes even Bristow’s share price has fallen 70% since the deal was announced. Columbia is selling to Bristow for $492 million in cash. (Oregonian)

 

Alaska Airlines is adding 3000 new workers in 2019 and 500 of them will be in Oregon. The airline has a total workforce of about 21,000 workers. (Oregonian)

 

Dutch Bros Coffee has hired Joth Ricci as President. He was formally Pres. and CEO of Adelsheim Vineyard. Before that he was President of Stumptown Coffee Roasters for four years. Dutch Bros. has about 300 locations and 9000 employees. (PBJ)

 

Ford has plans to build an electric F – 150 pickup truck. The F – 150 is America’s most popular vehicle. (CNN)

 

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



A near two-week idling of its only auto factory in Japan sent shares of Subaru lower in Tokyo today.  The just-reported shutdown began Jan. 16 and came after discovering a suspected defect in a power-steering component. The Japanese plant makes up about 60% of Subaru's global production. (SA)

 

Oscar season is coming Netflix has scored 15 Oscar nominations, including a coveted best picture nod for its film Roma, signaling that the streaming service is disrupting the silver screen the way it has television. (FT)

 

A year that brought new levels of regulatory scrutiny spurred Google, Facebook, and Amazon.com to new heights of lobbying spending -- $21M, $13M and $14.2M respectively. That spending ramped up during the year's last quarter, a period that saw tech firms' representatives hauled before Congress to answer concerns about user privacy amid news making scandals about data usage.

 

Intel is preparing for a massive buildup in Oregon potentially spending billions to build and equip a factory for its next generation of computer chips.  Intel hopes to begin construction by the end of June, adding an enormous, third section to the cutting-edge Hillsboro research factory known as D1X.  The facility is already home to Intel’s most advanced research and it’s where the company crafts each new generation of chip technology. Its expansion would represent a deeper commitment to Oregon as well as a billion-dollar stimulus for the state. (Oregonlive)

 

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



The IMF has downgraded its global growth forecast to 3.5% from 3.7% in its October outlook, partly due to the negative impact of U.S. and China tariff increases. Risks to economic growth are “tilted to the downside,’’ citing the threat of a widening trade war, Brexit and a steeper-than-anticipated slowdown in China.  According to the report, "Financial conditions have already tightened since the fall. A range of triggers beyond escalating trade tensions could spark a further deterioration in risk sentiment with adverse growth implications, especially given the high levels of public and private debt." (SA)
 
Google has been fined €50 million by France’s data protection watchdog for breaching European Union online privacy rules, the biggest such penalty levied against a U.S. tech company. France’s National Data Protection Commission, says Google violated rules requiring information about data collection to be transparent and did not go far enough in getting valid user consent to gather data for targeted advertising. The French action could signal the opening shot of potentially several regulatory actions as officials wield Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation. (FT)
 
The US is reportedly set to proceed with a formal request to extradite Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, currently out on bail in Vancouver. Meanwhile, 12 former ambassadors to China have published an open letter urging the release of two Canadians suspiciously detained in the country in the wake of the arrest. (WSJ)

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



China’s economic growth dropped to its slowest annual rate since 1990 as the US trade war and policy decisions in Beijing hit consumer sentiment. Growth for the full year was 6.6 per cent, down from 6.8 per cent in 2017, the lowest level since the country faced international sanctions after the Tiananmen Square massacre. Gross domestic product growth fell to 6.4 per cent in the fourth quarter, the lowest level since the global financial crisis. Growth has now slowed for three consecutive quarters, prompting concern among investors that the country could drag down the global economy. (FT)

 

The World Economic Forum begins tomorrow in Davos, Switzerland.  The snowy summit, which will draw business and political leaders from around the world for economic consultations a and $60 Caesar salads. Neither US President Donald Trump nor UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be in attendance due to political issues at home.  Also absent this year will be President Xi Jinping of China and India’s Narendra Modi, both of whom attended Davos in 2018. (Alphaville)


Markets are closed today for MLK day. 
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.



Responding to reports of a possible trade detente between the U.S. and China, stocks across the globe are continuing their climb higher. Yesterday afternoon the WSJ quoted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as saying Washington could ease tariffs on Beijing, although the suggestion faced pushback from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Earnings season remains in full swing, and investors today will also be watching figures on U.S. industrial production and consumer sentiment. (SA)


America’s most popular vehicle is going electric. While a timeline wasn't given, Ford has announced an all-electric plugin version of its F-150 pickup truck at the Detroit Auto Show - a decision the automaker says will "future-proof" the model and F-Series franchise. It's big news, given that the F-150 is pretty much the quintessential symbol of a fossil fuel-powered workhorse. (WSJ) 


Netflix forecast Q1 revenue slightly below Wall Street estimates, even after a record quarter for new customers, sending shares of the streaming service down 4%  AH. There were also fears that spending on content and willingness to take on new debt were not justified by the latest figures. Alternatively, investors may have been hoping for more after a U.S. price hike earlier this week. (Ft)

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



US Stocks traded higher yesterday and are now 11% higher from the lows set on December 24th, after the Bank of America and Goldman Sachs reported much better than expected earnings.
 
The Founder of the Vanguard Group, and the father of the Index Mutual Fund, John Bogle, died yesterday.  He was 89.  Bogle founded the Vanguard Group in 1974 and as of last month the company is the largest mutual fund company in the world managing $5.3 Trillion.
 
China's central bank, The Peoples Bank of China, injected a record $83 Billion in the country's financial system to shore up liquidity, which initially soothed investors, then stoked fears about the slowing of the world's growth engine.
 
Mortgage lending at the countries largest banks continues to plunge.  In the 4th quarter of 2018 mortgage origination at Citigroup dropped 23%, Wells Fargo fell 28%, and JP Morgan dropped 30% year over year.  Mortgage lending is down because there simply aren't enough houses for people to buy.

 

Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management I'm Tyler Simones 



Today is the 11th trading day of 2019, with the S&P 500 Index up over 3% for the year after 10 trading days. 
Historically we've seen good starts to a year produce solid returns. In fact, starting in 1950, when the S&P 500 was up 2.5% or more on the 5th day of the year (like 2019) the full year had been higher the previous 12 out of 13 times, with 2018 being the only down year. (LPL)

 

Credit stress among banks has remained relatively calm recently, signaling an economic recession may not be as imminent as some investors fear. (LPL)

 

The US Department of Labor says inflation at the manufacturing level declined 1/10 of 1% in November. That brought inflation for the year in at 2.5%. 

 

Effective immediately Netflix is increasing prices by 13% to 18% depending on the plan you use. Existing customers will not see the price increase for another three months. (CNBC)

 

With millennial’s increasingly choosing a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle Taco Bell will test out a vegetarian menu board at some restaurants in the first quarter. They feel putting all the meat free items on one menu should make it easier for vegetarians and vegans to see their options. (CNN)

 

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



According to our friends at Eager law, if you own residential rental property in Oregon and you sometimes feel like the state looks poorly upon your ilk, you're right. And it's likely to get a lot worse. Faced with a severe rental housing shortage and rising prices in some parts of the state, Democrats in Salem want the country's first statewide rent control law, and they have the votes to get it. 

 

ShopKo vendors have taken steps that may force the company to file bankruptcy this week. ShopKo has 300 retail locations with 18,000 employees. (AP)

 

Our trade surplus with China grew by 17 percent year-over-year to $323.32 billion in 2018. That's the highest on record dating back to 2006. (CNBC)

 

This week 35 S&P 500 companies will report quarterly results, highlighted by several big banks.  We expect a solid economic backdrop to support earnings in the mid-to-high teens for the quarter. (LPL)

 

China's exports fell 4.4% year over year, while Chinese imports significantly missed expectations slipping 3.1%. Both figures were the worst since 2016 and about 10 percentage points below the November readings. (LPL) 

 

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



Falling gas prices weigh on U.S. inflation. Consumer price inflation data shows inflation fell 1/10 of 1% last month. At an annualized rate of 1.9% inflation is very tame. A 7.5% drop in gasoline prices offset increases in food, shelter, and electricity services. Excluding more volatile components such as food and energy (Core CPI), inflation was up 2.2% year over year. Though not the Federal Reserve's (Fed) preferred inflation measure, consumer prices have ticked lower recently, but growth rates remain in a healthy range that supports flexibility on the Fed's part. (LPL)

 

The Wall Street Journal reported that investors began 2018 anticipating inflation, but higher consumer prices have not materialized. Returns for Treasury inflation-protected securities ended the year down 1.4 percent, while returns for fixed-rate US government debt rose 1.9 percent. 

 

Global earnings expectations have converged. Though earnings growth is expected to be stronger in the U.S. and EM in the coming year, that gap has closed, with 6% expected in developed international markets, 7% in the U.S., and 8% in EM, according to FactSet estimates. 

 

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



According to the mortgage bankers Association home loan applications rose 23.5% last week but are still 22% lower than a year ago.

 

The e-cigarette company Juul it is about to air its first television ad campaign targeting adult smokers. (CNBC)

Could they be the next iconic retailer to bite the dust? JCPenney said holiday shopping season sales were down 3.5% year-over-year.

 

Target says its same-store sales climbed 5.7 percent during the holiday shopping season.

E-commerce company Wayfare is hiring 600 people at its new Springfield Oregon call center. (Oregonian)

 

Almost 200 new jobs will be created at the North American headquarters of Daimler trucks in Portland. The jobs will center around developing self driving semi’s. The company says it will spend $570 million on the new efforts. (Oregonian)

 

According to the Census Bureau’s American community survey 7.7% of Portland’s residents work from home. That ranks at number 4 out of the top 50 US metro areas.

 

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



China's foreign currency reserves rose for a second straight month, which on the surface suggests concerns about capital flight and a slowing economy may be overdone; however, a report from Bloomberg noted that much of the gains were due to positive currency valuation effects. When removed, reserves would actually have fallen by a notable amount, indicating that capital outflows remained substantial, though well below those seen in 2015. (LPL)

 

U.S. non-manufacturing misses, but still strong. ISM's non-manufacturing index registered a five-month low of 57.6 for December. Much of the decline in the overall reading can be attributed to a drop in inventories and employment. However, an uptick in new orders, to 62.7, shows that future activity in the sector should remain robust.

 

Small business optimism elevated but qualified workers scarce. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index was slightly lower in December but remains near cycle highs at 104.4. The decline from November's reading was driven by falling expectations for both real sales growth and deteriorating business conditions over the next six months. At the same time, reports of higher worker compensation remained near record levels as employers struggle to find qualified workers to help boost inventories. 

 

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



According to the Labor Department when Trump became president in January 2017, 152,076,000 Americans were employed. Last month, that number grew to a record 156,945,000, a gain of 4,869,000 in two years. The manufacturing industry posted net job gains of 284,000 over 2018, capping its best calendar year since 1997. The number of Hispanics employed set a new record high of 27,701,000 in December, as their unemployment rate fell to a record low. The number of Hispanics employed, participating in the workplace, and civilian population all rose in December, as Hispanics' labor force participation rate increased from 66.8% to 67.0%, recording its fourth straight monthly increase.

 

Eurozone sentiment hits four year low. The investor sentiment index for the region fell for the fifth consecutive month in January to its lowest level since December 2014. A so-called hard Brexit, political unrest in France, and Italy's budget struggle with the European Union are among the issues weighing on investors. Also adding to angst were data that showed German factory orders fell for the first time in four months during November. The dip compares with an increase in the prior month and is likely to renew concerns that trade tensions and an overall loss of momentum are now weighing on the Eurozone's largest economy. (LPL)

 

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



Markets surged on Friday as we had a big jobs report, potential resolution of some of the trade issues and some Fed speak. 
 
Wage growth and economic recessions. Nonfarm payrolls grew 312K last month, significantly above the consensus estimate. Average hourly earnings climbed 3.2% year over year in December, the fastest pace of the cycle, bucking investors' fears that inflationary pressures may have fallen too far over the past few months. While strong jobs growth is always a good sign, wage growth is the most important metric to watch in jobs data these days, especially as recessionary fears increase. (LPL Research)
 
China moves to boost slowing economy. In an effort to prop up its cooling economy, the country's central bank cut its reserve requirement imposed on financial firms. The move is expected to inject liquidity by freeing up more than 800B yuan (~$116B). (LPL Research)
 
An interesting dichotomy in the online versus brick-and-mortar sales arena. In-store shoppers return about 8% of their purchases, while online shoppers return close to 30%. Consumers will return approximately $100 billion of the $850 billion they bought during the holiday buying season. (CNBC)
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Trade impact clearly evident. The official Chinese Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for Dec of 49.4 is nearing the 2011 and 2016 lows at 49.0. Meanwhile, the broader Caixin Manufacturing PMI measure came in at 49.7, its first sub-50 reading since 2016, with particular weakness in new export orders. Export weakness, coupled with anecdotal evidence of slower growth in China from corporate America (see Apple news), highlight the impact of the U.S.-China trade dispute. We continue to expect the dispute to be resolved over the next several months. (LPL)
 
Nordstrom co-president Blake Nordstrom died of cancer at age 58. (CNBC)
 
Manufacturing in the United States, grew but at a slower pace, in December, according to the ISM Manufacturing index. It slowed to a level not seen since November 2016. The index was pushed lower as new orders fell 10 percentage points.
 
It's Girl Scout cookie season, and the green-sashed entrepreneurial saleswomen have a new cookie. It is Caramel Chocolate Chip. (USA Today) 
 
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.



Markit Manufacturing PMI reports from a dozen countries, showed overall activity remains steady and in expansionary territory across most of Europe, while Asia weakened last month. In a sign that it's likely faring worse in the trade spat, Chinese data fell into contractionary territory in December for the first time in 19 months. The slowdown comes as gov't officials are already tapping the brakes on the economy through deleveraging. With the U.S. remaining firmly in expansionary territory, it bodes well for face-to-face trade negotiations slated to start next week. (LPL) 

 

Shoppers delivered the strongest holiday sales increase for U.S. retailers in six years. Total U.S. retail sales, excluding automobiles, rose 5.1% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 from a year earlier, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending with all forms of payment. Overall, U.S. consumers spent over $850 billion this holiday season.

 

Traeger grills has purchased the Redmond, Oregon Pacific Pellet mill for undisclosed terms. Pacific pellet manufacturing almost 21,000 tons of pellets in 2017 according to the Department of environmental quality. (Bulletin)

 

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



The FTSE All-World index, which tracks thousands of stocks across a range of markets, plummeted 12% this year. It's the index's worst performance since the global financial crisis, and a sharp reversal from a gain of nearly 25% in 2017. The Dow was down 6.7% in 2018. The S&P 500 has dropped 7%. The Nasdaq shed 4.6%. (CNN)

 

Stocks, bears, and recessions. With the S&P 500 down 15.8% from the September peak, the question now becomes could we see a bear market decline in the S&P 500 of 20% or more? If we do see a bear market, how low could it go? The bottom line is the worst stock corrections take place during a recession, something we don't see happening in 2019. Looking at the 14 bear markets going back to World War II, we found the S&P 500 drops an average of 24% in a non-recessionary economy, while it has dropped 37% on average in a recession. In fact, three of the past four non-recessionary bear markets all ended right near 20% drops. This could be good news that current selloff will be fairly contained from current levels. (LPL)

 

Mondelez is selling its Kraft-branded cheese business in the Middle East and Africa to Denmark's Arla Foods for an undisclosed amount. (CNBC)

 

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


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