U.S. and World News
- President Trump has announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. The landmark 2015 agreement between 195 nations aimed at fighting climate change and promoting clean energy, however Trump has been staunchly against the deal as he feels that it puts America at an economic disadvantage compared to many of the other countries in the agreement. While according to the language of the agreement makes it so the U.S. can’t officially withdraw until 2020, the administration says they will simply not enforce any of the provisions of the deal until that time. Trump added that the U.S. could begin negotiations to re-enter the Paris accord down the road or “a new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
- Standard and Poor’s has downgraded the debt rating of the State of Illinois down to BBB- from BBB, one notch above ‘Junk’ status. This was the third downgrade of Illinois’ debt by S&P in the past year. Illinois is by far the lowest rated state and it is the only state that S&P has in the BBB tier and indications are that the rating could fall further in what was described as a ‘negative credit spiral’. Gabriel Patek of S&P noted, “If lawmakers fail to reach agreement on a budget with provisions designed to reduce the state’s structural deficit, it’s likely we will again lower the ratings.”
- Markets ended the week on a positive note. The S&P 500 rose by 1.01% and closed at 2,430. The Dow Jones gained 0.69% for the week and closed at 21,144. Year to date, the S&P is up 9.87% and the Dow is up 8.48%.
- Interest rates edged higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.72% and 2.16%, respectively.
- The spot price of WTI Crude Oil lost 4.14% this week, closing at $47.74 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 11.13%.
- The spot price of Gold ended the week higher, closing at $1,279.17 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 11.47%.
- Initial jobless claims increased by 10,000 from last week, coming in at 248,000. Most of the increases in claims were attributed to California and Tennessee. The four week moving average for claims ticked up to 238,000.
- The Headline PCE index (measure of inflation) rose 0.2% in April, in line with expectations. Over the last year, PCE inflation has risen 1.7%.
- Core PCE (excludes food and energy, preferred inflation measure of the Federal Reserve) rose by 0.15% in April, slightly better than expectations of 0.1%. Core PCE has risen 1.5% over the last 12 months.
- The Case Shiller home price index rose by 0.9% in April, in line with expectations. Prices rose in all 20 cities measured with Minneapolis (+1.3%), Detroit (+1.2%), Seattle (+1.1%) and New York (+1.1%) showing the largest monthly increases. Over the last 12 months, home prices as measured by the index have risen 5.9%.
Fact of the Week
- Apple (AAPL) reported cash and cash equivalents of $256.8B at the end of Q1. That is enough cash to purchase any company held in the S&P 500, outside of the top 10 holdings. Alternatively, Apple could purchase all of the bottom 45 companies held in the S&P 500. (Based on Market Capitalization)
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