Steel, Powell: Wealth Economic Update Mar. 5, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • steel-656657304_370President Trump stated on Thursday that the U.S. will impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum or a “long period of time.” Stock and bond yields plummeted on the news as fear of a larger trade war could hinder the economy.
  • New Chairman Jerome Powell delivered his second round of semi-annual testimony to Congress on Tuesday and Thursday. Powell told lawmakers on Tuesday the next two years for the economy will be “good” ones. If he is right, it will be the longest expansion in record.


  • Markets fell this week. The S&P 500 dropped 1.98% and closed at 2,691.25. The Dow Jones followed suit and decreased by -2.96% and closing at 24,538.06. Year to date, the S&P is up 1.01% and the Dow Jones down -0.30%.
  • Yields held relatively steady this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.63% and 2.87%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell 3.62% this week, closing at $61.25 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 1.90%.
  • The spot price of Gold decreased by 0.45% this week, closing at $1,322.75 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 1.53%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims decreased 12,000 from last week, coming in at 210,000, lower than consensus estimates – lowest since 1969.
  • January durable goods fell more than expected posting a -3.7% loss compared to a -2.0% loss surveyed by economists.

Fact of the Week

  • Aggregate household debt in the USA reached $13.15 trillion as of 12/31/17, the highest level ever recorded.  Household debt has now increased for 14 consecutive quarters. (Source: Federal Reserve)

Please contact a member of the Wealth Management Department if you have any questions about this information.

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730
Steve Meves, CFA® – (630) 801-2217 –
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

Non-deposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC; not a deposit of, or guaranteed by, the bank; may lose value.

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