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.


  • 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
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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