US-North Korea relations, China tariffs, California split: Wealth Economic Update June 15, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • US-NK-830925980_380On Tuesday night, the United States and North Korea signed a historic document that included establishment of new US-DPRK relations, building a lasting and stable peace regime, reaffirming commitments to work toward complete denuclearization and recovering POW/MIA remains. The United States will keep in place its tough sanctions on North Korea and keep U.S military forces on the Korean peninsula until there is a complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of the nuclear weapons program. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the United States would resume joint military exercises with South Korea if the talks stall.
  • The United States announced today that it will move forward with $50 billion in tariffs on a range of Chinese products, $34 billion of that amount going into effect on July 6th. Shortly afterwards, China responded stating, “We will immediately introduce taxation measures of the same scale and with the same intensity”. The imposed tariffs do not include commonly purchased goods by Americans such as cell phones and TV’s. This was announced following months of trade negotiations between the two countries.
  • The plan to split California into three separate states, also known as the Cal3 initiative, has gained enough votes to make it onto the November 6th ballot. The new states would be named North California, California, and South California. Political experts say that Congress is unlikely to approve this plan.


  • After rising for much of the beginning of June, the markets fell slightly this week. The S&P 500 gained 0.06% this week and closed at 2,779.42. The Dow Jones fell 0.84% and closed at 25,090.48. Year to date, the S&P is up 4.89% and the Dow Jones is up 2.61%.
  • Yields were mixed this week with shorter term yields rising more than longer term yields (yield curve flattening) after the FOMC raised the fed funds rate. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.80% and 2.92%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell 1.81% this week and closed at $64.55 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 7.39%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 1.39% this week, closing at $1,280.13 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 1.74%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell 4,000 this week to 218,000. The largest declines were in California and Florida. The four-week moving average moved lower by 1,000 to 224,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • Retail sales rose by 0.8% in May versus consensus expectations of a 0.4% increase. The increase reflects an increase in gas station sales and an increase in auto sales. The largest increases were from miscellaneous retailers and building materials and supply dealers.
  • Import prices rose 0.6% in May versus consensus expectations of a 0.5% increase. The increase reflects an increase in fuel prices.
  • The consumer price index (CPI) increased by 0.21% in May versus expectations of a 0.2% increase. The increase largely reflected a rise in energy prices. The year-over-year rate rose 0.1% to 2.2%
    • Core CPI (ex-food and energy) rose by 0.17% in May versus expectations of a 0.2% increase.
  • The producer price index (PPI) rose by 0.5% in May versus expectations of a 0.3% increase. The increase reflects higher energy prices and higher retailer margins.
    • PPI (ex-food and energy) rose by 0.3% in May versus consensus expectations of a 0.2% increase.
  • Industrial Production fell 0.1% in May versus expectations of a 0.2% increase. The decline was led by a sharp drop in motor vehicle output.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee raised the target policy rate range to 1.75-2% on Wednesday. The meeting had a hawkish tone versus what expectations were and rate hike projections were increased to 4 this year, 3 next year, and 1 in 2020. The previous estimate was 3 this year, 3 next year, and 2 in 2020.

Fact of the Week

  • 22% of Americans at least age 85 need help with “personal care” daily. The number of Americans at least age 85 is projected to more than double from 6.4 million in 2016 to 14.6 million in 2040 (source: Administration for Community Living).

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
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462
Ed Gorenz – (630) 906-5467
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430

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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