Charlottesville, Bannon, Fed: Wealth Economic Update Aug 18, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • iStock-137169606_360In the wake of President Trump’s response to the violent and deadly acts at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, many high profile CEOs began resigning from Trump’s Manufacturing Council. President Trump originally responded to the first resignations by tweeting, “For every CEO that drops out, I have many to take their place.” However, as the resignations began to mount, the Manufacturing Council as well as the Strategic and Policy Forum were disbanded as more and more CEOs refused to be associated with this administration. In addition to the CEOs that have abandoned ship, famed investor Carl Icahn stepped down as a special advisor to the President late Friday afternoon.
  • Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon has left his duties at the White House, though the nature of his departure remains unclear. A person close to Bannon said that the strategist had submitted his resignation on August 7, but the announcement was delayed after the violence that occurred at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12. Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange audibly cheered when the news broke, reflecting the views on many on Wall Street. Stock markets initially rose on the news before fading late in the day as traders may think that with Bannon’s ouster and Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn remaining on the staff, the prospects of passing a budget and getting tax reform improve.
  • Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting were released this week and showed that policymakers are divided over the timeline for future rate hikes. While some members appeared wary about the recent weak inflation figures, others were more eager to have an additional rate increase sometime in 2017. The minutes also seemed to indicate that an announcement regarding the reduction of the Fed’s balance sheet could occur at the September meeting. The market is currently pricing in a 35% probability of an additional rate hike this year.

Markets

  • Markets fell this again this week following a rally on Monday. The S&P 500 dropped 0.58% and closed at 2,426. The Dow Jones fell 0.77% for the week and closed at 21,675. Year to date, the S&P is up 9.73% and the Dow is up 11.36%.
  • Interest rates ended the week relatively unchanged. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.76% and 2.20%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil decreased by 0.28% this week, closing at $48.68 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 9.45%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week lower by 0.32%, closing at $1,289.30 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 12.00%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 12,000 from last week, coming in at 232,000. The Labor Department noted no factors affecting the data this week. The four week moving average for claims remained at 241,000.
  • Housing starts declined -4.8% in July, lower than the median forecast of a 0.4% increase. The volatile multi-family category led the decline (-15.3%), while the more stable single family starts figure dropped -0.5%. Starts declined in the Northeast (-15.7%), Midwest (-15.2%) and West (-1.6%) but edged up in the South (+0.6%).
  • The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose 4.2 points to 97.6 in the preliminary August report, rebounding from declines in June and July. Although the survey’s current conditions index dipped, the expectations for the future component had the largest jump in four years.

Fact of the Week

  • Of the 8.56 million new households formed in the last 10 years, 95% of them (8.13 million) were comprised of families that are renting. (Source: Census Bureau)

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
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

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North Korea: Wealth Economic Update Aug 11, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • north_korea-157533672_360Tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to escalate as intelligence reports suggest that North Korea has successfully developed a “miniaturized nuclear weapon” that can be launched by missile. President Trump stated early in the week, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” North Korea responded by threatening to hit the U.S. territory of Guam with missiles.  Trump has continued to stand by his ‘fire and fury’ statement, even reiterating them and warning that if Kim Jong-un’s regime does anything to the U.S. or an ally, “things will happen to them like they never thought possible.”

Markets

  • Markets fell this week amid geopolitical tensions. The S&P 500 dropped 1.36% and closed at 2,441. The Dow Jones fell 0.91% for the week and closed at 21,858. Year to date, the S&P is up 10.36% and the Dow is up 12.21%.
  • Markets fell this week amid geopolitical tensions. The S&P 500 dropped 1.36% and closed at 2,441. The Dow Jones fell 0.91% for the week and closed at 21,858. Year to date, the S&P is up 10.36% and the Dow is up 12.21%.
  • Interest rates ended the week a lower. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.74% and 2.19%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil decreased by 1.59% this week, closing at $48.79 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 9.18%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week higher by 2.42%, closing at $1,289.30 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 12.36%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 3,000 from last week, coming in at 244,000. The Labor Department noted no factors affecting the data this week. The four week moving average for claims edged down to 241,000.
  • The Consumer Price Index (inflation) rose 0.1% in July, lower than expectations of 0.2%. Food prices gained 0.2% in the month but energy prices edged down -0.1%. Over the last 12 months, headline CPI has increased 1.7%.
    • Core CPI (excludes food and energy) also rose 0.1%, again missing expectations of 0.2%. Over the last 12 months, Core CPI has increased 1.7%.

Fact of the Week

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) just finished a 10 day winning streak this week, which is historically a good sign for bull markets. However, despite the 2.8% gain over the 10-day period, the S&P 500 returned a more modest 0.4%, and the Dow’s gain marked the lowest return during a 10-day winning streak.

    The DJIA is a price weighted index that aims to represent the broad market using only 30 stocks. These 30 stocks are decided upon by editors of the Wall Street Journal, and are exclusively blue chip names. Unlike its peers such as the S&P 500, the DJIA is price-weighted, meaning that the impact a stock within the DJIA has on the index as a whole is dependent solely on the price of the stock. For example, Boeing (BA) is currently the largest weighted holding in the Dow at 7.3% with a price of $234.88/share. At the bottom is General Electric (GE) at only 0.79% of the index with a price of $25.20/share. Boeing has a market capitalization of $140 billion while General Electric has a market capitalization of $223 billion. (Sources: LPL Research, InvestorPlace, IndexArb)

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
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

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Russia sanctions, China trade: Wealth Economic Update Aug 4, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • moscow-155388930_360President Trump has signed a bill that imposes sanctions on Russia after Moscow ordered the U.S. to cut hundreds of diplomatic staff and said it would seize two U.S. diplomatic properties. The new sanctions are the equivalent of a “full-scale trade war” according to Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev. The sanctions mark some of the strongest action Congress has taken against Russia since the Cold War. Meanwhile, the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election is taking a step forward as special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly convened a grand jury. The move would give him the power to compel witness testimony and obtain evidence. Links between the Trump campaign and Russia are subject to the investigation, although President Trump has deemed the probe a “witch hunt”.
  • A planned announcement by President Trump outlining a significant trade action against China has been postponed. It was expected that President Trump would direct U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to open an investigation into Chinese violations of U.S. intellectual property rights and forced technology transfer. The move would bypass the World Trade Organization and is getting some rare bipartisan support; with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer saying that the U.S. should skip any investigation and take immediate action against China. It is now unknown when or if this trade action will be announced.

Markets

  • Markets were generally higher this week. The S&P 500 rose 0.23% and closed at 2,477. The Dow Jones rose 1.22% for the week and closed at a new All-Time High of 22,093. Year to date, the S&P is up 11.87% and the Dow is up 13.23%.
  • Interest rates ended the week a bit lower. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.82% and 2.26%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil decreased by 0.38% this week, closing at $49.52 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 7.85%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week lower by 0.81%, closing at $1,259.31 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 9.74%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 5,000 from last week, coming in at 240,000. The Labor Department noted no factors affecting the data this week. The four week moving average for claims held steady at 242,000.
  • The July jobs reports came in better than expected with 209,000 jobs added, beating estimates of 180,000. The prior two months’ figures were revised upwards by 2,000, bringing the three month average for job gains to 194,000.
    • The headline unemployment rate edged down to 4.3%, in line with forecasts. The labor force participation rate ticked up 0.1% to 62.9%, making the reduction in the unemployment rate stronger.
    • Average hourly earnings increased by 0.3% in the month, meeting expectations. Over the last year, wages have grown 2.5%.
  • Headline PCE inflation was flat in the month of June, in line with consensus expectations. Over the last 12 months, headline PCE inflation has increased 1.4%.
    • Core PCE inflation (excludes food and energy, Fed’s preferred inflation measure) rose by 0.1% in June, also in line with expectations. Over the last 12 months, Core PCE inflation has increased 1.5%.

Fact of the Week

  • Since 1962, Congress has increased the nation’s debt ceiling 79 times. This amounts to once every 8 months over the last 55 years. This year, Congress must vote by mid-October to raise America’s debt ceiling or risk defaulting on its debt. (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
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

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Fed Rate, Healthcare: Wealth Economic Update July 31, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • traffic_360The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at their policy meeting this week as was expected. The post-meeting statement noted that the Committee expects to begin reducing the size of its balance sheet “relatively soon” as opposed to “this year” as had been in the June statement. This implies that there will be some sort of an announcement regarding letting maturing bonds run-off the balance sheet at the Fed’s September meeting. The market is currently pricing in a 40% chance there is another rate hike before the end of the year.
  • Following failed Senate votes to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republican senators shifted their focus to a “skinny” healthcare repeal that introduces smaller changes to the Affordable Care Act. The changes included eliminating individual and employer insurance mandates and removing the medical device tax. Despite the more limited scope of the “skinny repeal”, the bill was still struck down by a vote of 51-49 as three GOP senators voted against it. In a floor speech following the defeat, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “it is time to move on.”

Markets

  • Markets were mixed this week. The S&P 500 was flat and closed at 2,472. The Dow Jones rose 1.17% for the week and closed at a new All-Time High of 21,830. Year to date, the S&P is up 11.67% and the Dow is up 11.88%.
  • Markets were mixed this week. The S&P 500 was flat and closed at 2,472. The Dow Jones rose 1.17% for the week and closed at a new All-Time High of 21,830. Year to date, the S&P is up 11.67% and the Dow is up 11.88%.
  • Interest rates ended the week a bit higher. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.83% and 2.29%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil increased by 8.63% this week, closing at $49.72 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 7.45%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week higher by 1.14%, closing at $1,269.34 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 10.62%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 from last week, coming in at 244,000. The Labor Department noted no factors affecting the data this week. The four week moving average for claims held steady at 244,000.
  • Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 from last week, coming in at 244,000. The Labor Department noted no factors affecting the data this week. The four week moving average for claims held steady at 244,000.
  • The Case-Shiller home price index rose by 0.1% in May, lower than expectations of a 0.3% increase. Prices rose in 14 of the 20 cities surveyed with Seattle (+0.9%), Las Vegas (+0.6%) and Portland (+0.5%) showing the largest monthly increases and New York City (-0.6%), Chicago (-0.4%) and Boston (-0.4%) seeing the largest decreases. Over the last 12 months, home prices as measured by the index have risen 5.7%.
  • The first estimate of 2nd quarter Real GDP showed 2.6% quarter over quarter growth, slightly below expectations of 2.7%. This first print represents an acceleration of growth over the 1st quarter’s figure of 1.4%.

Fact of the Week

  • Over the last 5 years ending June 30th, the S&P 500 has had an annualized total return of 14.6% per year. If an investor were to have missed out on the 5 best performance days in that span, the average annual return was cut by 3% to 11.6% per year. (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 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Steve Meves, CFA® – (630) 801-2217 – smeves@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

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Healthcare, McCain: Wealth Economic Update July 21, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • stethoscope-519691768_360The U.S. Senate has further delayed a vote regarding repealing and replacing Obamacare and may scrap the plan altogether. This was the result of two more GOP senators stating they would not vote for the proposal, leaving Republicans short of the votes they would need to pass the American Health Care Act. Adding to the uncertainty, Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and the timing of his return is very much unknown.

Markets

  • Markets were mixed this week. The S&P 500 rose 0.55% and closed at 2,472. The Dow Jones dipped 0.23% for the week and closed at 21,579. Year to date, the S&P is up 11.61% and the Dow is up 10.59%.
  • Markets were mixed this week. The S&P 500 rose 0.55% and closed at 2,472. The Dow Jones dipped 0.23% for the week and closed at 21,579. Year to date, the S&P is up 11.61% and the Dow is up 10.59%.
  • Interest rates ended the week lower. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.80% and 2.23%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell by 1.83% this week, closing at $45.69 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 14.95%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week higher by 2.14%, closing at $1,254.97 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 9.37%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 15,000 from last week, coming in at 233,000. The Labor Department noted that the decrease may have been a result of summer auto plant shutdowns during the July 4th holiday. The four week moving average for claims moved down to 244,000.
  • Housing starts rose by 8.3% in June, beating expectations of a 6.2% increase. The increase was led by the volatile multifamily category (+13.3%) but single-family starts also increased (+6.3%) follow three months of declines.

Fact of the Week

  • On October 3, 1995, all activity in the United States halted in anticipation of the verdict of the “Trial of the Century”; the murder trial of Hall of Fame NFL Player and Actor O.J. Simpson. After 16 months of obsessive media coverage, the nation dropped everything they were doing to watch the verdict live. Among other phenomena such as water usage plummeting (not wanting to miss the verdict while in the bathroom) and electricity consumption surging (TV sets being turned on), trading volumes on the New York Stock Exchange fell by 41% as traders were glued to their TV screens. In all, it is believed that the verdict cost the U.S. economy $480 million in productivity that day. (Source: Alan Dershowitz’s “America on Trial)

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
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

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Healthcare, Fed: Wealth Economic Update July 17, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • medical-531914364_360Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that the Senate will vote on the Republican health care bill to replace Obamacare next week. McConnell has agreed with Ted Cruz on a bill that would allow insurance companies to sell plans that are cheaper and simpler. The two taxes on high-income households from the Affordable Care Act would remain and billions of dollars would be spent combating opioid addiction and assisting states in lowering premiums. The bill also entails the use of health savings accounts to pay insurance premiums.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony had a more dovish tone as she indicated that balance sheet runoff would likely be pushed to September. However, Janet Yellen did provide a positive view on the economy, citing higher household spending, a pickup in business investment, and strength in the labor market. The Fed remains uncertain about inflation, but expects it to return to 2% in the next couple of years. Global equity markets reacted positively to testimony and the U.S. equity market has once again reached record highs.

Markets

  • Markets climbed higher this week. The S&P 500 rose 1.42% and closed at 2,459. The Dow Jones rose 1.04% for the week and closed at 21,638. Year to date, the S&P is up 11% and the Dow is up 10.84%.
  • Interest rates ended the week lower. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.86% and 2.33%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil surged 5.38% this week, closing at $46.61 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 13.24%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week higher by 1.35%, closing at $1,228.81 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 7.09%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 3,000 from last week, coming in at 247,000. The Labor Department noted no unusual factors affecting the data this week. The four week moving average for claims ticked up to 246,000.
  • The producer price index (PPI) increased by 0.1% in June and 2% year-over-year which was slightly higher than expectations and core PPI (finished goods excluding food and energy) rose 0.2%.
  • The consumer price index (CPI) decreased by 0.02% in June and now stands at 1.6% year-over-year. The lower CPI reflects lower energy prices. Core CPI (excluding food and energy) rose 0.12% in June and the year-over-year figure stands at 1.7%.
  • Retail sales fell by 0.2% in June versus expectations of a 0.1% increase and retail sales (ex-autos, gasoline, and building materials) fell 0.1% versus expectations of a 0.3% gain.
  • The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell 2 points to 93.1 for the preliminary July report reaching a nine-month low.

 

Fact of the Week

  • In July 2009 there were 14.6 million unemployed Americans and 2.2 million job openings. In April 2017 there were 7.1 million unemployed Americans and 6.0 million job openings (Source: Department of Labor).

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
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

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IL Budget, G20: Wealth Economic Update July 7, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • balance-183243003_400For the first time since July of 2015, the state of Illinois has a budget after the House of Representatives overrode the governor’s vetoes. The state of Illinois’ unpaid bills reached $15 billion and the new budget is projected to bring that figure down by about $5 billion, however, according to Moody’s Investor Service this is likely not enough for Illinois to avoid being downgraded to junk status with the unpaid bill backlog and unfunded pension liability being so overwhelmingly high.
  • The G-20 summit begins today in Hamburg, Germany where tens of thousands of protesters have already begun demonstrating a day in advance as sensitive topics such as terrorism, global trade, and climate change are on the agenda and a long awaited first meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin. The meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin is not expected to go without tension after sanctions, concerns over Ukraine and Syria, and accusations of meddling in the election have transpired in the past few months.

Markets

  • Markets ended the week slightly higher. The S&P 500 rose 0.14% and closed at 2,425. The Dow Jones increased by 0.38% for the week and closed at 21,414. Year to date, the S&P is up 9.46% and the Dow is up 9.71%.
  • Interest rates rose on both the short and long ends this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.95% and 2.39%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell 3.80% this week, closing at $44.29 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 17.55%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week lower by 2.34%, closing at $1,212.60 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 5.67%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims increased by 4,000 from last week, coming in at 248,000. The Labor Department noted no unusual factors affecting the data this week. The four week moving average for claims ticked up to 243,000.
  • Nonfarm payrolls rose 222k in June which was higher than consensus expectations of 178k and prior months were revised up. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.4% and the labor force participation rate also increased to 62.8%. Average hourly earnings rose 0.15% and average weekly hours rose 0.1 to 34.5.
  • The ISM non-manufacturing index rose 0.5 points to 57.4 in June against expectations of a slight decline.
  • The ISM manufacturing index rose 2.9 points to 57.8 beating expectations with new orders, employment, and production all increasing for the month.

Fact of the Week

  • The total amount of money owed by every single person and country in the world is US$199 trillion, but the world has only US$80.9 trillion in cash and bank deposits. (Source: Marketwatch)

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
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

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OPEC, Budget, Manchester: Wealth Economic Update May 29, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • oil-518901244The OPEC meeting on Thursday concluded with an agreement to extend oil production cuts for an additional nine months, however crude oil prices fell sharply on the day despite the positive result as expectations were high after OPEC displayed unusual optimism prior to the meeting. Iraq was surprisingly in support of the production cuts as they have been one of the more hesitant OPEC members to favor production cuts in the past. There still remain OPEC members that will not be required to comply with the extension cap such as Libya, Iran, and Nigeria.
  • President Trump has submitted a budget proposal that aims to cut $3.6 trillion in spending over the next ten years which includes cutting Medicaid and other social programs. The budget entails a $4.1 trillion spending allowance in 2018 which includes defense, border security, and infrastructure.
  • The U.K.’s terror threat level was raised to “critical” after an explosion following the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England killed 22 people and injured 59. Salman Abedi is the name of the man believed to be responsible for the attack and Prime Minister Theresa May raised the U.K. threat level to its maximum level of “critical” implying that another attack is potentially imminent.

Markets

  • Markets ended the week on a positive note. The S&P 500 rose by 1.47% and closed at 2,416. The Dow Jones gained 1.35% for the week and closed at 21,080. Year to date, the S&P is up 8.78% and the Dow is up 7.75%.
  • Interest rates edged higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.79% and 2.25%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil lost 1.74% this week, closing at $49.79 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 7.32%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week higher, closing at $1,267.14 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 10.43%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims increased by 1,000 from last week, coming in at 234,000. Most of the increases in claims were attributed to California and Michigan. The four week moving average for claims dropped to 235,000.
  • Sales of new single-family homes fell 11.4% in April reaching a four-month low, however, new home sales in the prior three months were all revised upwards. The decline in April was largely attributed to new single-family home sales in the West.
  • Existing home sales fell 2.3% in April, but still remains at a March cycle-high. Existing sales of single-family units fell by 2.4%, while sales of condos declined by 1.6%. Existing home sales decreased in the South, West, and Northeast, but increased in the Midwest region.
    • The recent loss of momentum in the housing market and existing home sales is believed to be the negative affect from higher mortgage rates.
  • During the May Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Thursday, the Fed concluded that “it would soon be appropriate” for another rate hike. There is an 80% probability of a rate hike in June and another hike is expected in September. The Fed also noted that the weak Q1 GDP figure was likely transitory.

Fact of the Week

  • There was approximately $1.54 trillion in circulation as of April 5, 2017, of which $1.49 trillion was in Federal Reserve notes (Dollars). (Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.)

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
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

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

Wealth Management Economic Update November 2, 2015

U.S. and World News

  • The Federal Reserve chose to take no action on raising interest rates at its October meeting this week. This was the consensus expectation going into this meeting and the focus now shifts to the December meeting for possible ‘liftoff’. The statement following this month’s meeting showed reduced concern about international and stock market developments. It also expressly stated that Fed officials will be considering raising interest rates at the December meeting.
  • The House and Senate have passed a budget deal that would prevent the U.S. from breaching the debt ceiling next week and help avoid a government shutdown in December. The agreement will increase spending by $80 billion above the sequestration caps for military and domestic programs. Those increases would be offset by cuts in spending on Medicare and Social Security. The deal also lifts the debt ceiling through March 2017. The deal will now go to President Obama for final approval.
  • chinese_baby_320In a move aimed at improving growth, China has announced that it will abandon its one-child policy and allow Chinese couples to have two children. The country experienced significant social and demographic issues relating to the 35 year old policy, as China faces an aging population that doesn’t have the workers it needs for its large economy.
  • Despite rising expectations of an increase in stimulus, the Bank of Japan has kept its monetary policy on hold, holding asset purchases steady at ¥80 trillion. The decision comes amidst an output slowdown and declining consumer prices that threaten to push Japan back into deflation, something the BOJ has been fighting for two decades. BOJ Governor Hiroki Kuroda has insisted that Japan’s economy is in the middle of a moderate recovery and that the central bank has done all it can to boost growth.

Markets

  • Equity markets continued to advance upwards this week. The S&P 500 ended the week up 0.22%, closing at 2,079. Similarly, the Dow Jones increased 0.10% and closed at 17,663. Year to date, the S&P is up 2.71% and the Dow has gained 1.05%.
  • Yields in the Treasury markets moved higher this week. The 10 year Treasury bond now yields 2.15% while the 5 year Treasury bond now yields 1.52%.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose this week. Prices increased by 4.00% closing at $46.38 per barrel. In 2015, WTI Oil prices are down 21.98%.
  • The spot price of Gold decreased this week, losing 1.92% and closing at $1,142.11 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are down 3.57%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims came in at 260,000 which was an increase from the prior week’s figure of 259,000. The Labor Department noted that there were no special factors that affected the claims figure. The four week moving average for claims now stands at 259,000, which is a new low for this economic cycle.
  • The price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE, measure of inflation) declined by 0.1% in September as was expected given the further drop in energy prices. The Core PCE measure (excluding food and energy) rose 0.15% during the month, bringing the one-year figure to 1.3%, well short of the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.
  • The Employment Cost Index (ECI, measure of wage inflation) increased by 0.6% during the 3rd quarter, in line with expectations. Over the past 12 months, compensation has increased by 2.0%.
  • The first estimate of 3rd quarter GDP showed growth of 1.5%, according to the Commerce Department’s report. The figure reflects solid growth in consumer spending with an offsetting drag from slow inventory accumulation.

Fact of the Week

  • According to the Federal Reserve, as of August 31st the total outstanding credit card debt in the U.S. was $918.5 billion. This translates to an average of $8,004 of credit card debt for every household in the country.

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
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Tamara Wiley, CFP® – (630) 844-3222 twiley@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

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.

Wealth Management Weekly Update April 28, 2014

U.S. and World News

  • The agreement reached last week to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine doesn’t appear to have been of much use. Gun fights have broken out in Eastern Ukraine causing President Obama to have to warn of additional sanctions on Russia if Putin doesn’t act to ease tensions.  Russia has not heeded these warnings and has begun military exercises on the Ukrainian border after five pro-Russian rebels were killed during attempts to reassert Russian control over the eastern part of the country.
  • S&P has reduced Russia’s debt rating by a notch to BBB-, or just one grade above junk status. S&P also kept the country’s outlook at negative as the tensions with Ukraine continue to ratchet up.
  • Japan_Toyko_000037699828_316Japan has overhauled the investment committee of its $1.26 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest pension fund. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants the fund to improve returns by making higher risk investments (stocks) and reducing its reliance on low-yielding government bonds. The revamp is part of Abe’s “third arrow” of economic reform and an attempt to lift Japan out of deflation.

Markets

  • The S&P 500 dipped slightly by 0.81% for the week, closing at 1,863.The Dow Jones followed suit by falling 0.85%, closing at 16,361. So far in 2014, the S&P is up 0.81% and the Dow Jones is down 1.30%.
  • Treasury yields fell this week in conjunction with lower stock prices. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.73% and 2.66%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil ended the week down 2.64%, closing at $100.64 per barrel.  Year to date, Oil prices have climbed 3.45%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose by 0.69% this week, closing at $1,303.25 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 8.46%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 25,000 from last week, coming in at 329,000 vs. consensus estimates of 315,000. The Labor Department noted that seasonal adjustment presents difficulties during the Easter holiday and spring break from schools. The four week moving average for claims moved up to 317,000 after seeing several weeks of decline.
  • New home sales dropped by 14.5% in March vs. expectations of them rising by 2.3%. This was the largest decline in this measure since July 2013 shortly after last year’s sharp jump in mortgage rates. While it’s possible that adverse weather earlier in the winter had a lagged effect on March new home sales by delaying home searches, this is being viewed as a legitimately disappointing report.
  • China’s manufacturing sector has contracted for a fourth consecutive month in April as the HSBC PMI gauge registered another sub-50 (50 is breakeven) reading at 48.3. Given China’s slowing economy, many analysts believe that the Chinese government will add to its recent stimulus measures.

Fact of the Week

  • The U.S. government had a streak of 42 consecutive monthly deficits through 3/31/2012, an all-time record. Since then, 7 of the last 24 months have actually generated a surplus (tax receipts greater than expenditures). Higher taxes collected due to economic improvements and stock market gains, as well as reduced spending through measure like the sequester have helped to balance the budget.

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
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management