Brexit, California Wildfires: Wealth Economic Update Nov. 17, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • The British pound had a volatile week as uncertainty around the outcome of a Brexit deal rose higher. Theresa May has lost transport minister Jo Johnson and Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab within the past week and risks further resignations of pro-EU ministers. There was a Cabinet meeting held this week in an attempt to gain support on an agreement with a focus on the controversial Irish border. The deal would force Britain to abide by European rules and would make it very difficult for Britain to negotiate trade deals with other countries. Citing Brexiteer sources, Telegraph Chief Political Correspondent Christopher Hope tweeted “The threshold of 48 letters of no confidence in Theresa May will be passed today. They are expecting a no confidence vote in the PM on Tuesday”.

  • The death toll has climbed to 65 and over 600 people are missing in the deadliest wildfire in California state history. The two major fires are the Camp Fire, just north of Sacramento, which is 45% contained and the Woolsey Fire, just outside of Los Angeles, which is 69% contained. The state of California is also battling very serious air quality issues as a result of the fire, with the smoke continuing to flow southwest. The California utility company PG&E’s faulty power lines are believed to have started the fire.


  • Stocks retreated this week from last week’s gains. The S&P 500 fell 1.54% and closed at 2,736. The Dow Jones dropped 2.15% and closed at 25,413. Year to date, the S&P is up 4.12% and the Dow Jones is up 4.84%.
  • Yields dropped sharply from last week and the yield curve steepened. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.88% and 3.07%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil continued falling this week, shedding another 5.63% and closing at $56.80 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down 5.51%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 0.99% this week and closed at $1,221.59 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 6.23%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 2,000 to 216,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 1,000 to 215,000. Claims increased by 2,000 in New York and fell by 3,000 in Michigan, 2,000 in North Carolina, and 2,000 in California.
  • Retail sales rose by 0.8% in October versus expectations for a 0.5% increase. This was led by sales at gas stations.
    • Retail sales ex-autos rose 0.7% versus expectations for a 0.5% increase.
    • Retail sales ex-auto & gas rose by 0.3% versus expectations for a 0.4% increase.
  •  Import prices rose by 0.5% in October versus expectations for a 0.1% increase.
    •  Import prices-ex petroleum rose by 0.2% versus expectations for a flat reading.
  •  The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index fell by 9.3 points to 12.9 in November versus expectations for a reading of 20.0.
  •  The Empire State manufacturing index increased by 2.2 points to 23.3 in November versus expectations for a reading of 20.0.
  •  The consumer price index (CPI) rose by 0.33% in October, meeting expectations. The increase was driven by higher energy prices. The year-over-year rate came in a 2.53%, also meeting expectations.
    •  Core CPI rose by 0.19% in October, meeting expectations. The year-over-year rate came in at 2.15%, also meeting expectations.
  •  Industrial production rose by 0.1% in October versus expectations for a 0.2% increase.
  •  Manufacturing production rose by 0.3% in October versus expectations for a 0.2% increase.

Fact of the Week

  • As of October 31, the US was producing 11.2 million barrels of crude oil a day, while importing 7.3 million barrels. US oil production has risen substantially from October 2016, when the US produced only 8.5 million barrels and imported 9 million. (Source: BTN Research)

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
Mike Cava – (630) 281-4522

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

Non-deposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC nor any govt agency; not a deposit of, or guaranteed by, the bank; may lose value.


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