Brexit, China Tariffs, CA Wildfires, Saudis: Wealth Economic Update Nov. 23, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • Brexiteers had warned of “Judgement Day,” but opponents of British Prime Minister Theresa May are reportedly six letters short of the 48 threshold needed to trigger a no confidence vote on her leadership. May said on Sunday that toppling her would risk delaying Brexit and she would not let talk of the challenge distract her from getting the support of the U.K. business community ahead of a critical week of Brexit negotiations.

  • “We put tariffs on $250B in Chinese goods, and we could more than double that number,” Vice President Mike Pence told the APEC summit, stating the “U.S. will not change course until China changes its ways.” The warning follows remarks made by President Trump that helped the Dow close higher on Friday. The U.S. “may not” need to impose more tariffs after China sent over measures it was willing to take to resolve trade tensions, he said, adding that “we’ll probably get to the four or five big things that were left off” the list.

  • The current wildfires in California could pressure insurers operating in the state given underwriting losses have the potential to approach around $6.8B. “They are not permitted to take all the given year’s losses and cram them into next year’s rates,” California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones told CNBC. A state ordinance instead spreads repayment of property and casualty insurance payouts over the next twenty years

  • President Trump has called the CIA assessment blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi “very premature” and said he will receive a complete report of the case on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia plays an important role in the oil markets, counters Iran’s influence in the region, and President Trump has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to harm U.S. defense contractors by blocking U.S. arms sales to the kingdom.


Markets

  • Stocks retreated again this week. The S&P 500 fell 3.76% and closed at 2,632.56. The Dow Jones dropped 4.39% and closed at 24,285. Year to date, the S&P is up 0.26% and the Dow Jones is up 0.32.
  • Yields dropped slightly from last week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.87% and 3.04%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell sharply this week, losing another 11.10% and closing at $50.39 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down 16.17%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 0.05% this week and closed at $1,223.93 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 6.06%.

Economic Data

  • Housing starts increased 1.5% in October to 1,228k, and September starts were revised up 9k to 1,210k. The composition of the report was somewhat softer, as the volatile multi-family category increased 10.3% but single-family starts declined 1.8%. Housing starts declined in the Northeast (-34.1%) and West (-4.6%), and increased in the Midwest (+32.9%) and in the South (+4.7%), where there is potential scope for further recovery as the rebound from Hurricane Florence was likely offset by a drag from Hurricane Michael..
  • Existing home sales increased 1.4% month-over-month in October to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.22 million units, above expectations and the first increase in 6 months. October home sales increased among single-family units (+0.9%) and among condos and co-ops (+5.3%). Sales rose in the West (+2.8%), South (+1.9%), and Northeast (+1.5%) regions and declined in the Midwest (-0.8%).
  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment declined 0.8pt to 97.5 in the final November report from the preliminary report. The survey’s current conditions (-0.9pt to 112.3) and expectations (-0.6pt to 88.1) components both moved down from their preliminary readings. The report’s measure of 5- to 10- year inflation expectations remained unchanged at 2.6%.
  • In the week ended November 17, initial jobless claims increased by 3k to 224k—the highest level since June—against expectations for a decrease. The four-week moving average of claims increased by 2k to 219k. Jobless claims increased by 3k in California and Texas, and by 2k in Illinois. Claims declined by 2k in New York. Nationwide continuing claims—the number of persons receiving benefits through standard programs—declined 2k to 1,668k in the previous week. The insured unemployment rate remained unchanged on a rounded basis at 1.2%.

Fact of the Week

  • The S&P 500 has gone 46 trading days (as of 11/23) since it last closed at an all-time high. Since a record close on 3/28/13, the longest that the S&P 500 has gone between record closes is 286 trading days, between 5/21/15 and 7/11/16. (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
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

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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.


Markets

  • 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 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

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Iran, California wildfires, Turkey tariffs: Wealth Economic Update Aug. 10, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • The first round of sanctions on Iran by the United States has taken effect which includes a restriction on sales of the U.S Dollar to Iran’s government, trade restrictions on precious metals and industrial metals, and a ban on the purchase of Iranian sovereign debt. These new measures are expected to lead to higher prices on almost everything for Iranians. On November 5th, more severe sanctions will take effect if Iran fails to comply with U.S orders. These measures will entail an obstruction of Iran’s oil exports and tough sanctions on shipping.
  • wildfires-157384116California’s largest-ever wildfire has grown to the size of Los Angeles as dry weather, high winds, and location have made it very difficult to contain. President Trump has declared a “major disaster” in California, ordering federal funding to assist in containing the fire. The fire that currently spans over 470 square miles has burned through 283,800 acres is not expected to be fully contained by firefighters until September.
  • President Trump announced that the United States will double the tariff rate on steel and aluminum imported from Turkey, sending the Turkish lira down 20% against the U.S Dollar. This sparked a global market selloff as Turkey is in debt to many different banks. President Erdogan told Turks to sell all U.S Dollars that they own in an attempt to stabilize the plummeting Turkish currency.


Markets

  • Stocks pared their gains at the end of this week closing lower. The S&P 500 fell by 0.18% and closed at 2,833. The Dow Jones declined by 0.44% and closed at 25,313. Year to date, the S&P is up 7.16% and the Dow Jones is up 3.79%.
  • Yields were volatile this week, but also ended the week lower as investors piled into bonds. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.75% and 2.87%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil continued its slide this week, losing 1.11% and closing at $67.73 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 14.66%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 0.27% this week, and closed at $1,211.67 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 6.99%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 5,000 to 213,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims moved down by 1,000 to 214,000. Jobless claims rose by 3,000 in California and fell by 4,000 in Kentucky. The pace of layoffs remains very low.
  • The producer price index (PPI) was flat in July versus expectations of a 0.2% increase reflecting lower food and energy prices as well as lower retail margins.
    • The producer price index ex-food and energy rose 0.1% in July versus expectations for a 0.2% increase.
  • Wholesale inventories rose 0.1% in June versus expectations of no change.
  • The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.17% month-over-month in July and the year-over-year rate rose 0.1% to 2.4%, the fastest pace in six months. Consensus expectations were for 0.2% month-over-month and 2.3% year-over-year.
    • Core CPI rose 0.24% month-over-month and 2.35% year-over-year versus expectations of 0.2% and 2.3% respectively.


Fact of the Week

  • The number of US homeowners grew 1.8 million in the 12 months ending 6/30/18. That is double the 0.9 million total homeowners added in the decade ending 6/30/17. (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
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

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

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China tariffs, California wildfires: Wealth Economic Update Aug. 3, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • china-961870818The United States has proposed an increase on the tariff rate to 25% from 10% on the $200 billion of Chinese goods after the two countries made no progress with trade negotiations this week. The White House stated that the tariffs are a response to China’s unfair trade policies. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer stated “The increase in the possible tariff rate is intended to provide the administration with additional options to encourage China to change its harmful policies and behavior and adopt policies that will lead to fairer markets and prosperity for all of our citizens”. This morning, China threatened to impose additional tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. products that would range between 5% and 25% and would hit 5,027 products if the United States proceeded with its proposal.
  • More than 38,000 people are under evacuation orders about 160 miles north of Sacramento near a city named Redding where a wildfire has already burned through 90,000 acres. The state of California has already spent a quarter of its $442.8 million annual emergency fund on fighting fires and is one month into its fiscal year and the costs are expected to rise further. The largest fire is near the city of Redding and currently is about 40% contained after destroying 1,060 homes. The National Weather Service issued warnings for critical fire weather conditions on Friday and Saturday that will bring wind gusts up to 35 mph.


Markets

  • Stocks rose higher this week. The S&P 500 increased by 0.80% and closed at 2,840. The Dow Jones rose by 0.05% and closed at 25,463. Year to date, the S&P is up 7.35% and the Dow Jones is up 4.24%.
  • Yields ended the week slightly lower than last week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.81% and 2.95%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil was relatively unchanged this week, losing 0.15% and closing at $68.59 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 14.11%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 0.85% this week, and closed at $1,213.76 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 6.83%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 1,000 to 218,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims moved down by 4,000 to 215,000. Jobless claims rose by 3,000 in Michigan. The pace of layoffs remains very low.
  • Pending home sales rose by 0.9% in June exceeding expectations of a 0.1% increase. Pending home sales were led by the Northeast and South regions.
  • The core PCE index (excluding food and energy) increased 0.11% month-over-month in June and the year-over-year pace fell to 1.90%, below expectations.
  • Personal income rose by 0.4% month-over-month in June, in line with expectations.
  • The Conference Board index of consumer confidence increased to 127.4 in July from a revised 127.1 in June.
  • Private sector employment rose 129k in July against expectations for a 186k gain. June was also revised up by 4k.
  • Nonfarm payrolls rose 157k in July versus consensus expectations of a 193k increase. This is the slowest pace since March. Employment growth over the prior two month was revised higher by 59k.
    • The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in line with expectations
    • Average hourly earnings came in at 0.3% in July in line with expectations


Fact of the Week

  • Apple became the first company to reach $1 trillion in market capitalization this week. The equation for market capitalization is (number of shares outstanding X price per share).
    • Florida (GDP) = $1 trillion
    • Small cap (S&P 600 index) = $892 billion
    • Turkey (GDP) = $851 billion
    • Netherlands (GDP) = $826 billion

(Source: Statista)

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

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.

Tax Reform, CA Wildfires: Wealth Economic Update Dec. 11, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • Washington D.C. was squarely in focus this week. First, the U.S. Senate narrowly passed its version of the tax reform bill last weekend, sending stock markets decidedly higher. Republicans still need to overcome some obstacles between the House and Senate versions to craft a joint bill, which will then be brought to President Trump. Meanwhile, the White house announced that it will move forward with a massive infrastructure program in 2018. Then, the Senate Banking Committee approved the nomination of Jerome Powell as Janet Yellenís successor as the Fed Chair. Finally, a stop-gap spending measure has been signed which continues funding the federal government for two weeks, at least temporarily preventing a government shutdown.
  • fire-157384116_360 Wildfires raging across Southern California have caused massive amounts of damage to a region that has been hit extremely hard by fires this year and has forced thousands of residents to evacuate. Affecting industries from technology to oil fields to winemakers, the massive fires are still burning and this will go down as one of the most devastating fire seasons ever for insurance losses, which are estimated to have reached $10 billion in 2017.

Markets

  • Markets were up this week following news of the tax reform bill passing the Senate. The S&P gained 0.39%, closing at a new All-Time High of 2,642. The Dow Jones rose 0.46% for the week and closed at 24,232, also a new All-Time High. Year to date, the S&P is up 20.72% and the Dow is up 26.07%.
  • Interest rates were slightly higher for the week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.15% and 2.38%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil dipped by 1.77% this week, closing at $57.33 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have risen 6.72%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week off by 2.55%, closing at $1,247.9 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 8.75%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims dropped 2,000 from last week, coming in at 236,000. The level of claims remains elevated in Puerto Rico, as the labor department notes that the claims filing process continues to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands. The four week moving average for claims was unchanged at 242,000.
  • The November payrolls report showed a gain of 228,000 jobs, better than consensus expectations of 195,000. It appears that Novemberís figure received at least some boost from post-hurricane normalization. With the prior two monthsí figures being revised down a combined 4,000 jobs, the three month average for job gains now stands at 170,000.
    • The headline unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, in line with expectations. The labor force participation also held steady at 62.7%, consistent with expectations.
    • Average hourly earnings rose 0.2% in the month, lower than the 0.3% that was expected. Wage growth over the last 12 months has totaled 2.5%.
  • The University of Michiganís consumer sentiment index declined 1.7 points to 96.8 in the preliminary December reading, lower than expectations but still near the post-crisis highs. The report was mixed, with the assessment of current conditions improving but the expectations of the future component falling.

Fact of the Week

  • For the 7 years from 2010 to 2016, the S&P 500 experienced 417 trading days in which the index gained or lost at least 1% for the day, an average of 60 trading days per year. So far in 2017, the S&P 500 has only had 9 trading days of +/- 1% movement. (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

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.