China Tariffs, Gas Prices/Canada: Wealth Economic Update Dec. 7, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • china-943639230_370.jpgFollowing the meeting in Buenos Aires between President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China, President Trump agreed to delay a planned increase in the tariff rate on $200 billion of Chinese goods by 90 days while China agreed to begin purchasing agricultural, energy, and industrial commodities from the United States. The deal was initially met with skepticism by markets, however, China has begun preparations to begin importing soybeans and liquefied natural gas. Yesterday, the CFO of Chinese company Huawei was arrested for a violation of United States sanctions that prohibit doing business with Iran. The incident is not estimated to have any effect on trade negotiations between the United States and China.
  • In an effort to combat rapidly falling oil prices, Canada has unexpectedly announced an output cut of 325 thousand barrels per day, setting the precedent for other major oil producing nations to follow suit. Later in the week, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih stated that no OPEC deal was a real risk, just before Russia and OPEC members were to meet to discuss further production cuts. After Thursday’s summit concluded with no deal, OPEC met again to agree on 1.2 million barrels per day of production cuts. The deal is viewed as a victory United States oil producers as they are able to enjoy rising oil prices without having to cut production.


Markets

  • In another volatile week, stocks reversed course and headed sharply lower. The S&P 500 plummeted 4.55% and closed at 2,633. The Dow Jones lost 4.44% and closed at 24,389. Year to date, the S&P is up 0.40% and the Dow Jones is up 0.95%.
  • Yields continued their slide this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.70% and 2.86%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose higher this week, gaining 2.75% and closing at $52.33 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down 12.94%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 1.46% this week and closed at $1,248.60 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 4.16%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 4,000 to 231,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 4,000 to 228,000. Claims rose by 4,000 in California, 2,000 in Illinois, 2,000 in Iowa, 2,000 in Texas, and 2,000 in Wisconsin.

     

  • Private sector employment rose by 179,000 in November versus expectations for a 195,000 gain.

     

  • The trade deficit rose $0.9 billion to -$55.5 billion in October versus expectations for a reading of $-55 billion.

     

  • The ISM manufacturing index rose by 1.6 points to 59.3 in November versus expectations for a reading of 57.5.

     

  • The ISM non-manufacturing index rose by 0.4 points to 60.7 versus expectations for a reading of 59.0.

     

  • Factory orders fell by 2.1% month-over-month in October versus expectations for a 2.0% decline.

     

  • Construction spending fell by 0.1% in October versus expectations for an increase of 0.4%.

     

  • Nonfarm payrolls rose by 155,000 in November month-over-month versus expectations for an increase of 198,000. The lower-than-expected reading was led by slower growth in construction, leisure, and hospitality.

     

    • The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, in-line with expectations.

       

    • The labor force participation rate remained at 62.9%

       

    • Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2% month-over-month in November versus expectations for an increase of 0.3%.

Fact of the Week

  • Credit card debt in the US peaked in May 2008 before the global real estate crisis at $1.02 trillion. It then hit a low of $832 billion in April 2011. As of August 2018, US credit card debt climbed back to a record level of $1.04 trillion. (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 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Steve Meves, CFA® – (630) 801-2217 – smeves@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Mike Cava – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com

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.

Special Market Update: Dec. 6, 2018

The market reversal that began on Tuesday has carried over into today’s trading as stocks continue to exhibit a high level of volatility. At the time of this writing, the markets are down 2.3% as measured by the S&P 500.  The Dow is off 2.8% while international markets are down 1.2% and the Shanghai composite closed down 1.8%.

iStock-874979248Stocks experienced a relief rally last week and into early this week on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s more dovish comments indicating a more measured approach to interest rate hikes in 2019. This was followed by optimism on progress regarding the trade issues between the U.S. and China last weekend at the G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires. Initial reports stated that there was somewhat of a ‘trade truce’ reached between the two countries that would delay the escalation of tariffs for 90 days and include Chinese purchases of agriculture and liquid natural gas. Markets turned on Tuesday when the validity of those initial reports were called into question, something of which we have not seen any hard evidence.

The catalyst for today’s drop seems to be the arrest of the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Canada on charges that the firm violated U.S. sanctions by selling to Iran. This has been an issue with Chinese firms in the past, notably the recent fines levied against ZTE for similar allegations. Chinese officials are reportedly outraged by the detainment of Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the prominent CEO of the Chinese tech giant. The arrest, which occurred on the same day (December 1) as the Xi-Trump dinner, has stoked fears of an escalation of the trade tensions between the U.S. and China and that any progress that may have been made last weekend at the G-20 has been negated.

It is unclear what the ramifications of the arrest will have on the big picture trade negotiations but the United States’ handling of it will be a near term focus of markets given the prominence of Huawei (comparable to Apple in the U.S.) and the existing controversy of the firm’s development of 5G networks around the world. Old Second Wealth Management’s investment professionals will continue to monitor the situation and provide pertinent updates.

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

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Steve Meves, CFA® – (630) 801-2217 – smeves@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Mike Cava – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com

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.

Brexit, China Tariffs, Ukraine: Wealth Economic Update Dec. 1, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • iStock-815062310The House of Commons will vote on Theresa May’s new Brexit withdrawal agreement on December 11th, which calls for London to follow many of the European bloc’s rules in an effort to keep trade agreements intact. Meanwhile, people in the “Remain” group are hopeful that the European Union’s top court will determine that the U.K. can unilaterally cancel Brexit after it has been completed. European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has advised Britain that this agreement is “the only one possible”.
  • President Trump has threatened to raise tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion of Chinese goods effective January 1st and institute tariffs on $267 billion more Chinese imports that would include iPhones and laptops. The announcement preludes the G20 summit in Argentina taking place this weekend that will be attended by President Trump, Xi Jinping. President Trump and the Chinese President are expected to have a dinner meeting on Saturday night to discuss trade.
  • Tensions are rising between Vladimir Putin and Ukraine after Russia captured and fired upon three Ukrainian navy vessels that had entered the Kerch strait near Crimea last weekend. Russia is now planning to deploy more surface-to-air missile systems to the area. Ukraine is calling for NATO to deploy warships to the sea of Azov, between the two countries.


Markets

  • Stocks rebounded this week. The S&P 500 gained 4.91% and closed at 2,760.16. The Dow Jones rose 5.52% and closed at 25,538.46. Year to date, the S&P is up 5.10% and the Dow Jones is up 5.54%.
  • Yields dropped again from last week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.82% and 2.99%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose slightly this week, up 0.36% and closing at $50.60 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down 16.17%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 0.07% this week and closed at $1,222.12 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 6.19%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 234,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 4,000 to 223,000. Claims rose by 5,000 in New York, 3,000 in Pennsylvania, and 2,000 in Georgia.
  • The core PCE price index ex-food and energy rose by 0.10% month-over-month in October versus expectations for a 0.2%. The year-over-year rate fell 0.2% to 1.8% versus expectations for 1.9%.
  • Personal income rose by 0.5% month-over-month in October versus expectations for a 0.4% increase.
  • Consumer spending rose by 0.6% in October versus expectations for a 0.4% increase.
  • Pending home sales fell by 2.6% in October versus expectations for a 0.5% increase. Declines were led by the West region.
  • Sales of new single-family homes fell by 8.9% in October to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 544k versus expectations of 575k. This is the lowest level since March 2016.
  • Second-quarter GDP growth was unrevised and remained at 3.5% versus expectations for a revision to 3.6%.
    • The October goods trade deficit increased by $1.2 billion to $77.2 billion, versus expectations for a reading of $77.0 billion.
    • Wholesale inventories rose 0.7% in October versus expectations for a 0.4% increase.
  • The Conference Board index of consumer confidence fell 2.2 points to 135.7 in November, in-line with expectations.

Fact of the Week

  • Outstanding student loan debt in the US doubled from $360 million to $720 billion from 3/31/05 to 12/31/09. It double again to $1.44 trillion as of 9/30/18.

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

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Steve Meves, CFA® – (630) 801-2217 – smeves@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Mike Cava – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com

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.