China, Brexit, Shutdown: Wealth Economic Update Jan. 18, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • beijing-482334184_370China’s chief trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, will come to Washington D.C. for the next round of trade talks on January 30-31. The visit comes after some surprisingly negative economic data coming out of China this week that showed sharp contractions in both imports and exports. The poor numbers have led to stimulus measures such as tax cuts by the People’s Bank of China and figure to make it even more pressing for some sort of deal to be struck. The U.S. side isn’t necessarily presenting a unified front however, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin saying that Washington could ease tariffs on China, while U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer pushed back on this suggestion and continues to take a hardline stance.
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May submitted a Brexit proposal to Parliament this week which was soundly voted down and prompted a no-confidence motion from the opposition Labour Party. While May was able to survive the no-confidence vote, she now has a Monday deadline to set out her Brexit Plan B. She may be forced budge on certain items to get her opponents on her side, such as keeping closer ties to the European Union or postponing Britain’s separation from the economic bloc. However, with less than 70 days remaining until “Brexit Day”, if the two sides do not come together it becomes more likely that Parliament will take control of the Brexit process.
  • The partial government shutdown carries on through its 28th day, extending the record long impasse. Estimates for the cost of the shutdown have been increased from an initial figure of a -0.1% impact on GDP every two weeks it was in force, to -0.1% every week. The January employment report figures to show job growth being slashed by nearly 500,000 and the headline unemployment rate rising to 4.0% if the situation isn’t resolved quickly.


Markets

  • Stocks rose higher again this week, continuing the bounce off of the Christmas Eve lows. The S&P 500 rose 2.90% and closed at 2,670. The Dow Jones increased 3.01% and closed at 24,706. Year to date, the S&P is up 6.63% and the Dow Jones is up 6.02%.
  • Yields were on the rise this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.62% and 2.78%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose sharply this week, continuing its recent upward trend. Prices jumped another 4.17% and closed at $53.74 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 18.28%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 0.63% this week and closed at $1,282.11 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are unchanged.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 3,000 to 213,000 for the week. The four-week moving average of claims decreased by 1,000 to 221,000. Claims fell by 3,000 in New York and by 2,000 in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Fact of the Week

  • If calendar year 2018 GDP growth, which is released on 1/30, is reported above 3%, it will break a 12 year streak of “sub 3%” growth (2006-2017). This is the longest such streak in US history, with the next longest “sub 3%” streak taking place in the 4 your period from 1930-1933 during the Great Depression. (Source: Commerce Department)

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, Brexit, Shutdown: Wealth Economic Update Jan. 11, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • The trade negotiation with China shifted to a more positive tone this week after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated that the United States and China could reach a deal that “we could live with”. China’s foreign ministry stated that China has “good faith” to work with the United States to reach a deal. Some meaningful progress was made this week during a prolonged meeting that included China’s purchases of U.S. farm and energy products and expanded access to China’s markets. However, negotiations over forced U.S. technology transfer did not improve. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is expected to visit the United States in the near future for further negotiations.
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May finds herself in a tough spot in the days leading up to the January 15th vote on her Brexit deal as a result of lawmakers restricting her tax-varying powers in the event of no agreement. The last vote on a Brexit deal was delayed as there was not enough support and things have failed to improve since. The pressure for a deal to be made grows by the day as the March 29th deadline nears.
  • capitol-621851478With no end in sight, the partial government shutdown now ties the record for longest in American history, on its 21st day. Effects of a lengthened government shutdown are forgone pay from millions of federal employees, delayed business permits and visas, delayed IPO’S, and mergers and acquisitions. Withheld pay from federal employees could potentially impact consumer spending, a significant portion of the United States economy. Fitch’s global head of sovereign ratings stated that the United States triple-A credit rating could be in question because of the inability to pass a budget. The two government parties remain at an impasse over President Trump’s request for border wall funding.


Markets

  • • Stocks rose higher again this week as tensions with China have eased and the Fed provided some calming language regarding policy. The S&P 500 rose 2.58% and closed at 2,596. The Dow Jones increased 2.42% and closed at 23,996. Year to date, the S&P is up 3.63% and the Dow Jones is up 2.93%.
  • Yields rose slightly this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.53% and 2.70%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose sharply this week. Prices jumped 6.41% and closed at $51.63 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 13.70%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 0.13% this week and closed at $1,287.68 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 0.40%.

Economic Data

  •  Initial jobless claims fell by 17,000 to 216,000 for the week. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 3,000 to 222,000. Claims fell by 3,000 in California and fell by 2,000 in Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey.
  • The ISM non-manufacturing index fell by 3.1 points to 57.6 versus expectations for a reading of 58.5.
  • The consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.06% in December, in-line with expectations. The year-over-year rate rose 1.95% versus expectations of a 1.9% increase.
    • Core CPI rose by 0.21% in December, in-line with expectations. The year-over-year rate rose by 2.21% in December, in-line with expectations.

Fact of the Week

  • Today marks the 21st day of the government shutdown, which ties the shutdown spanning December 16, 1995 to January 6th, 1996 under President Bill Clinton as the longest shut down in history. During the ’95-’96 shutdown, the S&P 500 returned 0.156%. As of the close today, the S&P 500 is up 7.54% since the government shutdown at midnight on December 22. (Source: Bloomberg)

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, Congress, Wall, Budget: Wealth Economic Update Jan. 4, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • great_wall-899508826President Trump said that he had a “very good call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday regarding trade and that “big progress” was being made. Earlier this week, China released disappointing manufacturing data that showed a contracting Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, rather than growing. However, Chinese Services Purchasing Managers Index jumped to a six-month high. This morning, China’s commerce ministry announced that vice-ministerial-level trade discussions will be held with the United States on January 7-8 in Beijing. The meeting is a continuation of an ongoing effort to reach a deal on trade during a 90-day truce period that postponed additional tariffs until March 1st.
  • Democrats had officially taken control of the House on Thursday and have found themselves at an impasse with Congress and President Trump on funding the government, which has now been partially shut down for 14 days. President Trump has stated that he will not sign a bill that does not include $5 billion for a wall along the southern border, something that the Democrats strongly oppose. The Democrats have passed a funding package that would reopen the government and the Department of Homeland Security until February 8th, but would not satisfy the President’s demand. Bipartisan congressional leaders are meeting today at the White House to continue negotiations.


Markets

  • Stocks continued climbing higher in yet another volatile week. The S&P 500 rose 1.90% and closed at 2,532. The Dow Jones increased 1.65% and closed at 23,433. Year to date, the S&P is up 1.03% and the Dow Jones is up 0.50%.
  • Yields fell further this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.50% and 2.67%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rebounded this week. Prices jumped 6.57% and closed at $48.31 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 6.39%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 0.42% this week and closed at $1,286.05 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 0.28%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 231,000 for the week. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 1,000 to 219,000. Claims rose by 2,000 in Connecticut and fell by 2,000 in California and North Carolina.
  • Private sector employment rose by 271,000 in December versus expectations for a 180,000 increase.
  • The ISM manufacturing index fell 5.2 points to 54.1 in December versus expectations for a reading of 57.5. This is the largest one-month decline in ten years.
  • Nonfarm payrolls rose by 312,000 in December, far exceeding expectations of 195,000. Prior months were revised up by a net 58,000.
    • The unemployment rate rose 0.2% to 3.9% due to a higher labor participation rate.
    • Average hourly earnings rose by 0.4% in December versus expectations for a 0.3% increase and the year-over-year rate rose to 3.2%, a cycle high.

Fact of the Week

  • This weekend’s playoff matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles will be the fourth time the teams have meet in the post season. Previous match-ups include the infamous “Fog Bowl” on New Year’s 1988, and the Eagles hold a 1-2 series advantage over the Bears. The teams will face off at Soldier Field at 3:40pm on Sunday.

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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Budget, Infrastructure: Wealth Economic Update Feb. 19, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • traffic-637694576_400President Trump released a detailed outline of his long-awaited infrastructure proposal. The major aspects of the proposal are similar to the framework that had been leaked a few weeks ago. The overall amount of federal funding for the proposal would be $200 billion and this would be combined with private funding for a total package of $1.5 trillion spread over several years. There are four broad segments addressed in the proposal: Infrastructure Incentives Program (transportation, water/sewer), Rural Infrastructure Program (broadband, electrical power), Transformative Projects Program (commercially viable projects with high risk/reward), and Infrastructure Financing Programs (additional funding and broader eligibility). In addition, President Trump is calling for a $0.25/gallon hike to the federal gas tax in order to fund the federal portion that will upgrade roads, bridges and public works. The proposal faces strong challenges before it can be enacted due to the 60 votes needed to pass it in the Senate and a current lack of bipartisan consensus about the appropriate structure for federal infrastructure funds.

Markets

  • Markets rebounded from last week’s plunge, although trading was still relatively volatile. The S&P 500 gained 4.37% and closed at 2,732. The Dow Jones followed suit by also gaining 4.36% and closing at 25,219. Year to date, the S&P is up 2.45% and the Dow Jones has gained 2.37%.
  • Yields continued their upward trend this week, the 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.64% and 2.88%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose 4.04% this week, closing at $61.61 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 3.11%.
  • The spot price of Gold increased by 2.30% this week, closing at $1,346.96 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 3.39%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims increase 7,000 from last week, coming in at 230,000, a bit above consensus estimates of a slight increase. The four week moving average for claims now stands at 229,000.
  • The headline Consumer Price Index (inflation) reading for January increased 0.5%, over expectations of 0.3%. This reflected a 3.0% rise in energy prices. Over the last 12 months, headline prices have risen 2.1%.
    • Core CPI (excludes food and energy) came in at 0.35%, also higher than expectations of 0.2%. Over the last 12 months, Core inflation has been 1.85%.
  • Retail sales declined -0.3% in January, a disappointing figure compared to +0.2% expectations. Excluding autos, retail sales were flat, also below expectations. The largest declines in January were in health and personal care (-1.2%), sporting goods, hobby, book and music (-0.8%), and furniture (-0.4%) retailers.

Fact of the Week

  • The National Retail Federation estimates that more than 55% of the U.S. population celebrated Valentine’s Day this week, and will have spent $19.6 billion on gifts for the holiday.

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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Stock Market, Shutdown, North Korea: Wealth Economic Update Feb. 12, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • stock_market-533891962_370After a long period of calm markets, the U.S equity market posted its first correction (10% loss) in two years amid concerns over rising interest rates, an overheating economy, and complex leveraged funds driven by algorithms used to speculate on volatility. International stock indexes followed suit and are now about 10% off their highs.
  • The government briefly shut down late Thursday night following a failure to reach an agreement on a new budget deal, but was reopened early this morning after a major fiscal spending bill was passed. The bill includes an extension to the debt ceiling, a two-year increase in spending on military and domestic programs by $300 billion, and an additional $90 billion to help aid the disasters that occurred in 2017, extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and fight the opioid crisis. House Speaker Paul Ryan stated this morning, “Ultimately, neither side got everything it wanted in this agreement, but we reached a bipartisan compromise that puts the safety and well-being of the American people first.”
  • Vice President Mike Pence stated that “The United States of America will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever” as North Korea continues its nuclear and ballistic missile program despite numerous threats to terminate it. The Vice President did not give any details regarding the planned sanctions, but it is likely that they will target Chinese businesses that do business with North Korea.

Markets

  • In the most volatile week that we have seen in 2 years, the market has dipped into correction territory. The S&P 500 fell 5.10% and closed at 2,619. The Dow Jones followed suit by also plummeting 5.10% and closing at 24,191. Year to date, the S&P is down 1.83% and the Dow Jones is down 1.90%.
  • After trading in a wide range throughout the week, the 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.54% and 2.85%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell 9.52% this week, closing at $59.22 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down 1.48%.
  • The spot price of Gold decreased by 1.36% this week, closing at $1,315.21 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 1.00%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell 9,000 from last week, coming in at 221,000 vs. consensus estimates of a slight increase. The decline is largely attributed to a 6,000 decline in Missouri. The four week moving average for claims now stands at 225,000.
  • The trade balance came in at -$53.1 billion in December versus consensus expectations of -$52.1 billion.
  • Wholesale inventory growth increased 0.4% in December versus consensus expectations of a 0.2% increase.

Fact of the Week

  • The stock market, on average, has a correction every 357 days, or about once a year. (Source: Deutsche Bank)
  • Based on research conducted on the Dow between 1945 and 2013, the average correction (which worked out to 13.3%) lasted a mere 71.6 trading days, or about 14 calendar weeks. (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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Syria, Gorsuch: Wealth Economic Update Apr. 7, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • Following a poison gas attack against a rebel-held area of Syria which included use of the banned nerve agent sarin, President Trump was forced to pivot from his prior stance on Syria and its President Bashar al-Assad. Trump said that the attack, which included children among its victims, crossed “many, many lines” and that his “attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.” In what was seen as a direct response, the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk missiles against an airbase in Syria. This sets up further potential conflict with Russia, Assad’s primary backer, as the Kremlin has already stated the missile launch will deal a “significant blow to Russian-U.S. relations” and represented an “act of aggression” against a sovereign state.
  • Facing significant Democratic opposition, Republicans voted to enact the “nuclear option”, which reduces the threshold for Supreme Court nominations in the Senate from 60 to a simple majority. Having done that, the path was cleared for Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate on Friday. With the Republicans choosing to lower this threshold, future presidents will have a much easier time getting their Supreme Court nominees confirmed, potentially changing whom they decide to appoint.
  • Minutes from the March Federal Reserve meeting were released this week and contained a relatively upbeat assessment of economic conditions and references to the potential upside from fiscal policy measures. The minutes also showed discussion regarding allowing the Fed’s balance sheet to ‘run-off’ at some point in the future. Additionally, some participants characterized stock market valuations as ‘quite high’ in light of the run-up in indices in recent months. The market is currently pricing in a 13% probability of a rate hike at the Fed’s May meeting and a 62% probability of a rate hike by their June meeting.

Markets

  • Markets were relatively flat this week. The S&P 500 fell 0.24% and closed at 2,356. The Dow Jones was flat for the week and closed at 20,656. Year to date, the S&P is up 5.80% and the Dow is up 5.20%.
  • Interest rates bounced around this week but ended close to where they began. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.92% and 2.38%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose 3.18% this week, closing at $52.21 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 2.81%.
  • The spot price of Gold increased by 0.48% this week, closing at $1,255.21 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 9.39%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims declined by 25,000 from last week, coming in at 234,000. Most of the improvement came from the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, where claims in recent weeks were elevated due to Winter Storm Stella. The four week moving average for claims dropped to 250,000.
  • The March employment report showed a gain of 98,000 jobs in the month, well below expectations of 180,000. Additionally, the prior two months’ figures were revised down a combined 38,000. The retail sector disappointed again, losing 30,000 jobs in the month however the overall report may have been negatively affected by severe weather. Over the last three months, job gains have averaged 178,000 per month.
    • The headline unemployment rate moved down 0.2% to 4.5%, which was better than expected. The labor force participation rate held steady at 63.0%.
    • Average hourly earnings rose by 0.2%, which was in line with forecasts. Over the last year, wages have grown 2.7%.

Fact of the Week

  • The IRS audited just 0.7% of individuals’ tax returns in 2016. The number of people audited in 2016 (just over 1 million) dropped for the 5th consecutive year. The IRS claims that for every $1 spent conducting an audit, they are able to recuperate $4 in previously unpaid taxes. (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
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.

 

Brexit: Wealth Economic Update Mar. 31, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • london360The Brexit process has officially begun as British Prime Minister Theresa May has invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, formally informing the European Union of its exit from the bloc. The letter of declaration was hand-delivered to EU President Donald Tusk Wednesday and now begins what is estimated to be a two year negotiation process between the UK and all of the remaining 27 European Union member states. This is anticipated to be a difficult and lengthy procedure as agreements must be reached on tough issues such as trade and immigration.
  • Complicating matters in the United Kingdom is the fact that Scottish lawmakers voted 69-59 this week to seek a new referendum on independence within the next two years. This certainly comes as an unwelcome distraction from the Brexit proceedings for British leaders. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon declared, “The mandate for a referendum is beyond question, and it would be democratically indefensible – and utterly unsustainable – to attempt to stand in the way of it.”

Markets

  • Markets closed the 1st quarter of 2017 on an up note. The S&P 500 gained 0.82% and closed at 2,363. The Dow Jones was also positive for the week rising 0.32% and closing at 20,597. Year to date, the S&P is up 6.06% and the Dow is up 5.18%.
  • Interest rates continued to decline a bit this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.92% and 2.39%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose 5.82% this week, closing at $50.76 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 5.51%.
  • The spot price of Gold increased by 0.38% this week, closing at $1,248.24 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 8.77%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims declined by 3,000 from last week, coming in at 258,000. The level of claims was likely affected for a second week by Winter Storm Stella. The four week moving average for claims rose to 254,000.
  • 4th Quarter GDP growth was revised up in the 3rd estimate from +1.9% to +2.1%, beating expectations of +2.0%. The main source of the upward revision was real consumer spending, which was revised up to +3.5% from +3.0% previously.
  • The Case-Schiller home price index rose by 0.9% in its latest reading, beating expectations of a 0.7% increase. Prices rose in all 20 cities measured except for Cleveland, with Seattle (+1.7%) and Chicago (+1.3%) seeing the largest increases in the month. Over the last 12 months, home prices as measured by the index have risen 5.7%.
  • The PCE index (measure of inflation) rose 0.1% in February, in line with consensus expectations. Over the last 12 months, PCE inflation has increased 2.1%, also in line with estimates.
    • Core PCE (excludes food and energy, Fed’s preferred inflation measure) rose 0.2% in February, meeting expectations. Over the last year, Core PCE has risen 1.75%, still below the Fed’s 2% inflation target.

Fact of the Week

  • 25 players will make the opening day rosters of the 30 Major League Baseball teams ahead of the season opening on Sunday night, a total of 750 big league ballplayers. Coming into this season, there have been a total of 18,593 men to appear in at least 1 game at the major league level. (Source: Major League Baseball)

PLAY BALL!!

 

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
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
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.

 

Interest Rates, Brexit: Wealth Economic Update Mar. 20, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • In a highly anticipated move, the Federal Reserve raised the Fed Funds Rate by 0.25% this week. Despite being the second rate hike in three months, the Committee remained committed to a gradual pace of rate hikes going forward. The Fed projects two more interest rate hikes in 2017, though there are differing views among the members. There was one dissent, Neel Kashkari, who supported not raising at this meeting and taking a wait and see approach. Finally, it was noted by Fed Chair Janet Yellen that the size of the Fed’s balance sheet (which stands at $4.5 trillion) was discussed at the meeting, but no decisions were made in regard to reducing it over time.
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May secured permission to trigger Article 50 which would officially mark the beginning of Brexit negotiations between the nation and its European Union counterparts. Having received the go-ahead from Parliament, May has said that she will invoke Article 50 by the end month. It’s expected that the negotiation process will last at least two years before Britain is officially able to leave the EU.

Markets

  • Markets closed the week moderately higher. The S&P 500 gained 0.28% and closed at 2,378. The Dow Jones followed suit by inching up 0.08% and closing at 20,915. Year to date, the S&P is up 6.71% and the Dow is up 6.45%.
  • Despite a 0.25% rate hike in the Fed Funds Rate, interest rates fell this week as the projected pace of future hikes was not accelerated. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.02% and 2.50%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil stabilized this week and gained 0.47% this week, closing at $48.72 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 9.31%.
  • The spot price of Gold increased by 2.04% this week, closing at $1,229.26 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 7.13%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims edged 2,000 lower from last week, coming in at 241,000. The Labor Department noted no special factors in the data. The four week moving average for claims remained at 237,000 which is a near a 40-year low.
  • Retail sales increased 0.1% in February, in line with expectations. Sales excluding autos and gasoline increased 0.2%. Delayed tax refunds appeared to bring down several Retail categories.
  • The Consumer Price Index (measure of inflation) increased 0.1% in February, slightly beating expectations for flat prices. Over the last 12 months, CPI has increased 2.7%.
    • Core CPI (excludes food and energy) rose 0.2% for February, in line with expectations. Core prices have risen 2.2% over the last year.
  • Housing starts increased by 3.0% in February, beating expectations of 1.1%. The details of the report were also favorable, as the less volatile single family starts increased by 6.5% to the highest level since October 2007 while multi-family starts decreased 3.7%.

Fact of the Week

  • The S&P 500 has now gone 108 consecutive trading days without suffering at least a 1% decline over any single trading day. That’s the longest stretch that the S&P has gone without a 1% drop since it had a run of 105 trading days without one that ended on December 15, 1995. (Source: By The Numbers 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
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
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.

 

NKorea/Japan, Healthcare: Wealth Economic Update Mar. 10, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • Global tensions are rising in the wake of North Korea firing four ballistic missiles into nearby waters over the weekend. Three of those missiles landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, causing the country to move to the highest possible alert level. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared, “This clearly shows North Korea has entered a new stage of threat.” Fearing a rapid escalation, China has called upon North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile tests and for South Korea and the U.S. to cease their joint military drills in the area.
  • Republican leaders in Congress unveiled their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare this week. Along with the end of the health insurance mandates, the proposal would restructure the Medicaid program and create a new tax credit tied to a person’s age and income for those who cannot get insurance through their employer. President Trump is “proud to endorse” the plan and called for its speedy passage despite some opposition within the Republican Party.

Markets

  • Markets fell a bit this week. The S&P 500 lost 0.40% and closed at 2,373. The Dow Jones followed suit by dipping 0.40% and closing at 20,903. Year to date, the S&P is up 6.41% and the Dow is up 6.36%.
  • Interest rates rose quite a bit this week as odds of a Fed rate hike next week have all but hit 100%. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.10% and 2.58%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil plunged 9.38% this week, closing at $48.33 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 10.03%.
  • The spot price of Gold decreased by 2.43% this week, closing at $1,204.74 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 4.99%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims bounced 20,000 higher from last week, coming in at 243,000. The Labor Department noted no special factors in the data. The four week moving average for claims now stands at 237,000 which is a near a 40-year low.
  • The February jobs report showed an increase of 235,000 new jobs created in the month, better than expectations of 200,000. The prior two months’ figures were revised up by a combined 8,000 which brings the three month average for job gains to 209,000 per month. The report was generally very positive, one blemish however was the 26,000 retail jobs lost during the month, continuing that sector’s recent struggles.
    • The headline unemployment rate ticked down to 4.7%, in line with expectations. The 0.1% decrease in the unemployment rate occurred despite a 0.1% increase in the labor force participation rate to 63.0%.
    • Average hourly earnings rose 0.2% in February, below forecasts of 0.3%. Over the last 12 months, wages have increased 2.8%.

Fact of the Week

  • The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) index turned 60 years old this week. The index is widely regarded as the most accurate gauge of large American stocks and it is market capitalization weighted as opposed to the Dow, which is weighted by price, or other indexes that have an equal weighting. The S&P 500 is by far the biggest index in the world, with about $2.4 trillion being tracked by it.

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
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
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.

 

Trump speech, Fed, Sessions: Wealth Economic Update Mar. 6, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • politician_podium76797371_320President Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress this week and spoke on a number of initiatives that the administration aims to put through. Trump pledged to overhaul the immigration system, improve jobs and wages for Americans, and promised “massive” tax relief to the middle class and tax cuts for businesses. Trump also laid out some general principles for an Obamacare replacement. Details on these items were absent from the address but Trump did say that he plans to ask Congress for $1 trillion in infrastructure investment, guided by the principle “Buy American and Hire American.”
  • The Federal Reserve came more into focus this week as Fed officials have indicated that there is a strong likelihood of a March interest rate hike. San Francisco Fed President John Williams said that an interest rate hike in March will be under “serious consideration” and New York’s William Dudley feels the case for tightening at the next meeting “has become a lot more compelling.” The market is now assigning a 94% chance of a Fed Funds Rate hike in March.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that he will recuse himself from any investigations related to President Trump’s election campaign amid backlash over his testimony about his contacts with Russia. At Sessions’ confirmation hearing, during which he was under oath, he failed to disclose meeting with Russia’s ambassador on multiple occasions when asked about contact with the Russian government during Trump’s campaign.

Markets

  • Markets rose this week following President Trump’s address to Congress. The streak of 55 consecutive trading days without a trading range of +/- 1% in the S&P 500 was broken this week. The S&P 500 gained 0.71% and closed at 2,383. The Dow Jones followed suit by rising 0.94% and closing at 21,006. Year to date, the S&P is up 6.84% and the Dow is up 6.79%.
  • Interest rates rose quite a bit this week following the address to Congress and increased rate hike odds. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.01% and 2.48%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil was down 1.39% this week, closing at $53.24 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have dipped 0.89%.
  • The spot price of Gold decreased by 1.78% this week, closing at $1,234.76 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 7.60%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell 19,000 from last week, coming in at 223,000 which is the lowest reading since 1973. The Labor Department noted no special factors in the data. The four week moving average for claims now stands at 234,000 which is a new 40-year low.
  • The Case-Shiller home price index rose by 0.9% in its latest reading, slightly beating expectations of a 0.7% increase. Prices rose in all 20 cities covered and the largest monthly increases were seen in Chicago (1.5%), Seattle (1.4%) and Tampa (1.4%). Over the last 12 months, home prices as measured by Case-Shiller have risen 5.6%.
  • The Headline PCE index (measure of inflation) rose 0.4% in January, slightly under expectations of 0.5%. Over the last year, prices as measure by PCE have increased 1.9%.
    • Core PCE (excludes food and energy, preferred inflation measure by the Fed) increased 0.3% in January, in line with expectations. Over the last year, Core PCE has risen 1.7%, still a bit below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

 

Fact of the Week

  • Over the last 30 years, the proportion of all US workers that were members of a union has fallen from 17.5% to 10.7%. Looking at just private sector workers, union membership has fallen from 14.0% in 1986 to just 6.4% now. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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
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
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.