China Tariffs, Brexit: Wealth Economic Update Dec. 14, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • Trade tensions with China have eased after some constructive talks between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer earlier this week. China has begun purchasing soybeans from the United States again and has announced that the retaliatory tariffs put on U.S. autos will be suspended until March 1st. The tariff rate on autos exported to China will now be reduced from 40% to 15%. March 1st remains the deadline for the trade truce established between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires on December 1st. The recent development is a sign that the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has not derailed trade negotiations.
  • Theresa May delayed the House of Commons vote on her Brexit deal earlier this week, as it was expected to fail with near certainty. As a result of the delay, 48 Conservative lawmakers called for her ouster. Theresa May then when on to survive the no-confidence vote and travel to Brussels to hear the European Union’s concerns regarding the deal. The Irish backstop, which is the plan to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland, continues to be the point of disagreement. Theresa May’s own members of parliament are concerned that the Irish Backstop could keep the United Kingdom tied to the European Union’s policies and would prevent them from making trade deals.


Markets

  • Stocks fell further this week amid global uncertainty. The S&P 500 fell 1.22% and closed at 2,600. The Dow Jones declined 1.17% and closed at 24,101. Year to date, the S&P is down 0.81% and the Dow Jones is down 0.20%.
  • Yields rebounded slightly this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.73% and 2.89%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil erased its gains from last week, losing 2.79% and closing at $51.14 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down 14.92%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 0.87% this week and closed at $1,238.47 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 4.94%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 27,000 to 206,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims fell by 4,000 to 225,000. Claims fell by 5,000 in Pennsylvania, 3,000 in California, 3,000 in Texas, and 2,000 in Georgia.
  • Import prices fell by 1.6% in November month-over-month versus expectations for a decline of 1.0%.
  • Import prices ex-petroleum fell by 0.3% in November versus expectations for a 0.1% decline.
  • The producer price index (PPI) rose by 0.1% in November month-over-month versus expectations for no change.
  • PPI ex-food and energy rose by 0.3% in November versus expectations for a 0.1% increase.
  • The consumer price index (CPI) rose by 0.02% in November versus expectations for no change. The year-over-year rate came in at 2.18%, in-line with expectations.
  • Core CPI rose by 0.21% in November, in-line with expectations. The year-over-year rate came in at 2.21%, in-line with expectations.
  • Retail sales rose by 0.2% month-over-month in November versus expectations for a 0.1% increase.
  • Retail sales core/control rose by 0.9% in November versus expectations for a 0.4% increase.
  • Industrial production rose by 0.6% in November versus expectations for a 0.3% increase.

Fact of the Week

  • 30 years ago (1988), the Chinese economy was just 6% of the U.S. economy. 10 years ago (2008), the Chinese economy grew to 31% of the U.S. economy. Today, the Chinese economy is 63% the size of our economy. (Source: Trading Economics)

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

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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

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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

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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

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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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China, Brazil election: Wealth Economic Update Nov. 3, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • China made progress this week towards making its financial markets more investor friendly. The China Securities Regulatory Commission said that it will begin increasing liquidity, reduce unnecessary interference in trading, and increase fairness in the markets for investors. President Trump ramped up trade threats if negotiations with Chinese President Xi fail, stating that the U.S. is planning tariffs on the remaining $257 billion in Chinese goods. Reports surfaced early this morning that President Trump had asked U.S. officials to draft a trade agreement with China, however, a few members of the administration later said that an agreement is not imminent.
  • brazil-676361592_370In a controversial victory, right winged presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election with 55% of the vote. The Brazilian Real gained 9.7% against the U.S. Dollar and the Bovespa stock index rose 13.5% in the last 30 days as the market predicted a Bolsonaro victory leading up to the election. Brazil has gone through years of corruption scandals, brutal elections and protests, the impeachment of a president, and negative economic growth. Bolsonaro campaigned on restoring discipline and law-and-order, putting an end to the corruption.


Markets

  • Stocks rebounded from correction levels this week as volatility remains elevated. The S&P 500 rose 2.45% and closed at 2,723. The Dow Jones gained 2.36% and closed at 25,271. Year to date, the S&P is up 3.47% and the Dow Jones is up 4.03%.
  • Yields also rebounded dramatically from their lows last week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 3.04% and 3.22%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil continued its slide this week, losing a whopping 6.92% and closing at $62.91 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 4.66%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week almost unchanged from last week, losing 0.05% and closing at $1,232.94 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 5.36%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 214,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims increased by 2,000 to 214,000. Claims fell by 3,000 in California and by 2,000 in Georgia. Jobless claims still remain high in hurricane affected states.
  • The core PCE index (excluding food and energy) rose by 0.15% month-over-month in September and the year-over-year figure came in at 1.97%, in line with expectations.
  • Personal income rose by 0.2% month-over-month in September versus expectations for a 0.4% increase.
  • Personal spending rose by 0.4% month-over-month in September, in-line with expectations.
  • The Conference Board index of consumer conference rose to 137.9 versus expectations for a reading of 135.9. This is the highest level since 2000.
    Private sector employment rose 227,000 in October versus expectations for a 187,000 increase.
  • Factory orders increased by 0.7% month-over-month in September versus expectations for a 0.5% increase.
  • Nonfarm payrolls rose by 250,000 in October month-over-month versus expectations of a 200,000 increase.
    • The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7%, in-line with expectations.
    • Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2% month-over-month in October and the year-over-year figure rose by 0.3% to 3.1%, a new cycle-high.
    • The trade deficit rose by $700 million to $54 billion in September, versus expectations for a $300 million increase.

Fact of the Week

  • The last time Amazon saw a 20% drawdown in stock price was in February of 2016, when its market cap was $227 Billion. In the period from September 4th to October 30th, Amazon fell nearly 25% and lost $249 Billion in market cap.

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.

China tariffs, North-South Korea: Wealth Economic Update Sept. 21, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • Earlier this week, the United States put in place a 10% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods, below the originally planned 25% rate. However, this rate will increase to 25% at year end, leaving more time for negotiations. China also came back with a more gentle response than expected, placing tariffs on $60 billion of United States goods and stating that they will not use currency devaluation as a means to boost their exports. It is rumored that China is planning to cut average tariff rates on imports from most of its trading partners, including the United States, as soon as next month. This move would be in line with China’s pledge to support more imports.
  • north_south_korea-187088168_370South Korean President Moon stated that during a three-day summit with Kim Jong Un this week, the North Korean leader expressed interest in having a second summit with Donald Trump in the near future to speed up denuclearization. Moon also said that Kim is now open to inspections at North Korea’s last existing facility for underground tests in Punggye-ri, where he previously would not allow inspections. The United States demands that North Korea accomplishes a “verifiable, irreversible, dismantlement” of its nuclear program before the U.S. satisfies their demand of an end to the war.


Markets

  • Stocks continued moving higher this week amid easing trade tensions. The S&P 500 rose 0.86% and closed at 2,930. The Dow Jones surged 2.25% and closed at 26,744. Year to date, the S&P is up 11.03% and the Dow Jones is up 9.88%.
  • Yields also rose much higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.95% and 3.07%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil surged 3.01% this week to close at $70.84 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 17.85%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 0.36% this week, and closed at $1,199.18 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 7.95%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 3,000 to 201,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims moved down by 2,000 to 206,000. Claims fell by 7,000 in California and 2,000 in Florida and South Carolina, but rose by 2,000 in New Jersey. This is the lowest level of jobless claims since 1969.
  • Housing starts rose by 9.2% in August to 1,282k versus expectations of 1,238k. Housing starts in the West region were mostly responsible for the higher than expected figure.
  • Building permits fell by 5.7% to an annualized rate of 1,229k in August versus expectations of a 0.5% increase. This was the largest drop since 2011.
  • Existing home sales were flat in August versus expectations for a 0.5% increase.


Fact of the Week

  • During the 30 years ending 8/31/2018, the best 12 month performance and the worst 12 month performance happened in a single 24 month period. The worst performance occurred from 03/01/2008 to 2/28/2009 while the best performance occurred 03/01/2009 to 2/28/2010. (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

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.

China tariffs, Hurricane Florence: Wealth Economic Update Sept. 14, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • After trade discussions broke down three weeks ago, the Trump administration has invited Chinese officials for another round of negotiations. President Trump wrote in a tweet on Thursday that “We are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us”. Meanwhile, an editorial in the China Daily read “The Trump administration should not be mistaken that China will surrender to the U.S demands.” This new round of trade negotiations comes before additional tariffs of 10-25% on $200 billion of Chinese imports are being prepared by the United States. China is expected to retaliate in a similar fashion to these tariffs.
  • hurricane-480386290_370Hurricane Florence, a Category 1 hurricane, made landfall this morning on the North Carolina coast bringing sustained winds of 90 miles per hour and a life-threatening storm surge. The slow moving storm is expected hang over the Carolinas this weekend and drop catastrophic amounts of rain causing a lot of flooding. The power was knocked out in nearly 500,000 homes and hundreds were rescued this morning as the storm made landfall.


Markets

  • Stocks rebounded this week. The S&P 500 rose 1.21% and closed at 2,905. The Dow Jones rose by 0.94% and closed at 26,155. Year to date, the S&P is up 10.09% and the Dow Jones is up 7.50%.
  • Yields rose higher again this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.90% and 3.00%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil increased by 1.83% this week to close at $68.99 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 14.77%.
  • The spot price of Gold dropped 0.33% this week, and closed at $1,192.99 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 8.43%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 204,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims moved down by 2,000 to 208,000. Claims rose by 5,000 in California and 2,000 in Michigan. This is the lowest level of jobless claims since 1969.
  • The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.22% in August versus expectations for a 0.3% increase.
    • Core CPI ex-food and energy rose 0.08% in August versus expectations of a 0.2% increase. The soft reading was led by the apparel category. The year-over-year rate declined to 2.2%.
  • Wholesale inventories rose 0.6% in July versus expectations for a 0.7% increase.
  • The producer price index (PPI) declined by 0.1% versus expectations for a 0.2% increase.
    • Core PPI ex-food and energy rose 0.1% versus an increase of 0.2% expected.
  • Retail sales rose by 0.1% in August versus expectations for a 0.4% increase. The weaker sales growth was a result of lower auto sales.
    • Core retail sales rose 0.1% in August versus an increase of 0.4% expected.
  • Import prices fell 0.6% in August versus expectations for a 0.2% decline
  • Industrial production rose by 0.4% in August versus expectations of a 0.3% increase.
  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment September preliminary reading came in at 100.8 versus expectations of 96.6.


Fact of the Week

  • In a “private letter ruling” issued on August 20th, the IRS approved the use of a program to help aid employees that have student debt. The program would allow employees that make student loan payments to still receive an employer contribution in their 401(k) as if the loan payment was a pre-tax 401(k) contribution. (Source: IRS)

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.

China tariffs, Manafort, Cohen, Hurricane Lane: Wealth Economic Update Aug. 24, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • The amount of tariffs imposed by both the United States and China have now totaled a combined $100 billion each on a variety of products after the planned $16 billion round of United States tariffs kicked in on Chinese products this week and were immediately answered with reciprocity by China. U.S-China trade talks ended on Thursday after making no progress and China stating that they will continue to hit back at the United States as more U.S tariffs are imposed.
  • gavel-827092426_370On Tuesday, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight financial related crimes. Five of the crimes were for tax fraud, two for bank fraud, and one for failing to disclose a foreign bank account. As a result, Paul Manafort faces years in prison. President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen plead guilty on eight counts of crimes similar to Manaforts and also admitted to paying off an adult film actress and a former Playboy model so that they would not spread the story of their alleged affairs with Trump.
  • Hurricane Lane, a Category 2 slow moving storm, has already dumped over 30 inches of rain on Hawaii’s Big Island as it makes its way north towards Maui and turns west towards Oahu. Police warned all tourists to leave Waikiki Beach and so far, about 1,500 people are in emergency shelters. Hawaii was last hit by a major storm in 1992.


Markets

  • • Stocks rose again this week, reaching record levels last seen in January. The S&P 500 rose by 0.88% and closed at 2,875, an ALL TIME HIGH. The Dow Jones increased by 0.51% and closed at 25,790. Year to date, the S&P is up 8.80% and the Dow Jones is up 5.84%.
  • Yields declined this week and the curve flattened further. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.72% and 2.81%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rebounded this week, gaining 5.21% and closing at $68.61 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 14.14%.
  • The spot price of Gold gained 1.83% this week, and closed at $1,205.89 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 7.44%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 210,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims moved down by 2,000 to 214,000. Claims rose by 3,000 in California and fell by 2,000 in Michigan. The pace of layoffs remains very low.
  • Existing home sales fell 0.7% month-over-month in July to a seasonally adjusted annualized figure of 5.34 million units against expectations of a 0.4% increase. Sales were the weakest in the Northeast region.
  • Sales of new single-family homes fell 1.7% in July to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 627,000 units versus consensus expectations of 645,000. The previous three months were revised lower by a net 13,000. July sales fell sharpest in the Northeast region.


Fact of the Week

  • This week marked the longest bull market in history, after the market bottomed on March 9th, 2009. Or did it? The S&P 500 saw drawdowns in 2011 and 2015 in which over 60% of stocks were down at least 20%, with the 2011 instance seeing only a -19.4% in the headline index, not meeting the somewhat arbitrary -20% threshold. Meanwhile, Small Cap stocks as measured by the Russell 2000 experienced declines of -30.7% and -27.1% in 2011 and 2015 respectively. So is this really the longest bull market in history? (Source: Strategas)

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.

China tariffs, Turkey, Quarterly reports: Wealth Economic Update Aug. 20, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • Trade tensions with China have eased this week after China stated that they will send a delegation to the United States in late August to resume trade negotiations that have recently fell apart. Since trade negotiations ended a couple of months ago, billions of dollars in tariffs were imposed by the two sides and China’s stock market experienced dramatic losses. This announcement follows a complaint filed by China to the World Trade Organization earlier this week, stating that U.S tariffs on solar products are interfering in the global photovoltaic market and hurting its major solar manufacturers.
  • turkey_coin-843425198_370Crushing hopes of a potential rate hike and restrictive monetary policy action by Turkey to reverse the decline of the Turkish lira, President Erdogan said that he will not raise rates. Erdogan claimed that the lira’s decline was a result of foreign affairs and has nothing to do with Turkey’s economy. Turkey has imposed retaliatory tariffs on a variety of U.S. goods including tariffs on passenger cars that will rise by 120%.
  • President Trump said on Friday that he has asked the SEC to look into reducing the number of times public companies must report earnings from quarterly to semi-annually. Trump cited business leaders who say it could promote economic growth and longer term investment horizons as investors would be less focused on short term, and more volatile, quarterly results. A move to twice a year reporting would also bring the U.S. in line with European public companies and would reverse the quarterly mandate that the SEC has imposed since 1970.


Markets

  • Stocks rose this week on hopes that trade tensions between the U.S. and China are easing. The S&P 500 rose by 0.66% and closed at 2,850. The Dow Jones climbed by 1.48% and closed at 25,669. Year to date, the S&P is up 7.91% and the Dow Jones is up 5.36%.
  • Yields moved marginally lower this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.74% and 2.86%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil continued its slide this week, losing 2.57% and closing at $65.89 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 9.62%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 2.18% this week, and closed at $1,184.17 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 9.11%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 212,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims moved up by 1,000 to 216,000. Claims did not rise or fall by more than 1,000 in any single state. The pace of layoffs remains very low.
  • Housing starts rose by 0.9% in July to 1,168k versus consensus expectations for a 7.4% increase to 1,260k.
  • Building permits rose by 1.5% month-over-month to an annualized rate of 1,311k in July which was in line with expectations.
  • Retail sales increased by 0.5% month-over-month in July versus expectations of a 0.1% increase. The increase was driven by gas station sales and auto sales.
    • Retail sales ex-autos rose 0.6% versus expectations of a 0.3% increase. The increase was driven by clothing and accessory stores and department stores.
  • Industrial production rose by 0.1% in July versus expectations of a 0.3% increase.


Fact of the Week

  • The weekly initial jobless claims figure came in at 212,000 this week. The last time jobless claims were this low was 1970, when total employment was 70 million people, compared to 148 million today. (Source: U.S. 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
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.