Iran, Australia fires: Wealth Economic Update January 10, 2020

U.S. and World News

  • On Monday evening, Iran carried out its retaliatory response to last week’s assassination of their military leader in the form of a missile attack on a military base in Iraq housing U.S. troops. The White House said that Iran launched 16 ballistic missiles at the facility and that no U.S. troops were killed in the attack. President Trump stated that Iran appears to be standing down and that the United States “will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime” in response to Iranian aggression. This morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin announced new sanctions on Iran that include penalties on some senior leaders. The new sanctions will target Iran’s steel, construction, manufacturing, textiles, and mining industries and will aim to prevent other nations from trading with the country. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that the strikes concluded Iran’s response to the killing of Soleimani.
  • australia1195174769_370Australia is urging approximately 250,000 people to evacuate as a result of the bushfires that have already burned 25.5 million acres and killed 27 people. The bushfires in Australia have burnt more land than this years’ fires in Brazil, California, and Indonesia combined. Westpac estimated that the total losses related to the bushfires would total about $3.44 billion and would result in a 0.2%-0.5% negative impact on GDP. During the past 10 days, about 2,000 homes have been destroyed in New South Wales and firefighters from the United States and Canada have traveled to Australia to help battle the fires.

Markets

  • Markets extended the rally this week. The S&P 500 gained 0.98% and closed at 3,265. The Dow Jones rose 0.67% and closed at 28,824. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is up 1.13% and the Dow Jones is up 1.05%.
  • Yields rose slightly this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 1.63% and 1.82%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude plummeted this week on easing fears of Iran conflict. Prices dropped 6.17% and closed at $59.16 per barrel. Year-to-date, oil prices are down 3.11%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose by 0.56% and closed at $1,560.86 per ounce. Year-to-date, the price of gold is up 2.87%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 214,000 and the four-week moving average fell by 10,000 to 224,000. Claims fell by 3,000 in Illinois and by 2,000 in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, and Michigan.
  • The ISM non-manufacturing index rose 1.1 points to 55.0 versus expectations for a reading of 54.5
  • Factory orders fell 0.7% versus expectations for a decline of 0.8%
  • Private sector employment in the ADP rose by 202,000 versus expectations for an increase of 160,000
  • Nonfarm payrolls rose 145,000 in December versus expectations for an increase of 160,000
  • The unemployment rate remained at 3.5%, in-line with expectations
  • Average hourly earnings rose by 0.1% versus expectations for an increase of 0.3% and the year-over-year rate came in at 2.9%

Fact of the Week

  • Between 7/01/18 and 7/01/19, the Census Bureau estimated that the US population grew from 326.688 million to 328.240 million, an increase of just +0.48%, i.e., less than 1/2 of 1% growth rate between 2018-2019. That’s the lowest year-over-year growth rate in the United States since 1918 or 101 years earlier (source: Census Bureau)

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
Mike Cava, CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

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Iran, airstrike: Wealth Economic Update January 3, 2020

U.S. and World News

  • us_iran-1089424782_370The leader of Iran’s elite Quds military force, Qassem Soleimani was killed Thursday night near Baghdad International Airport in an airstrike ordered by President Trump. Soleimani was one of the most powerful Islamic Republic figures and has been blamed for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, including the attack on December 27th that killed an American defense contractor. The Pentagon stated that Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif stated that the attack was “extremely dangerous and a foolish escalation” and Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami has vowed to take “crushing revenge” for Soleimani’s assassination. The attack has consequently angered Iraq as well, a United States ally, as they were not warned of the attack against Iran on their soil. The Quds Force was labeled a foreign terrorist organization in April of 2019 when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that “With this designation, we are sending a clear signal, a clear message to Iran’s leaders, including Qassem Soleimani and his band of thugs, that the United States is bringing all pressure to bear to stop the regime’s outlaw behavior.” Before the airstrike, Iranian protestors attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to protest a retaliatory U.S. attack on Sunday that killed two-dozen members of an Iranian backed group.

Markets

  • Markets finished the first week of the new decade on a higher note. The S&P 500 gained 0.45% and closed at 3,235. The Dow Jones rose 0.65% and closed at 28,635. The S&P rose 31.21% and the Dow Jones rose 25.09% in 2019.
  • Yields fell this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 1.59% and 1.79%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude jumped this week amid renewed tensions in the Middle East. Prices rose 2.11% and closed at $63.02 per barrel. Oil prices rose 38.78% in 2019.
  • The spot price of Gold rose by 2.65% and closed at $1,550.64 per ounce. The price of gold rose 20.91% in 2019.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 222,000 and the four-week moving average rose by 4,000 to 233,000. Claims rose by 2,000 in New York and fell by 6,000 in California
  • Pending home sales rose 1.2% versus expectations for an increase of 1.4%
  • The Conference Board index of consumer confidence fell 0.3 points to 126.5 versus expectations for a reading of 128.5

Fact of the Week

  • The SECURE Act was signed into law on December 20th 2019 and as a result:
    • There is now a 10-year distribution cap for non-spousal beneficiaries
    • The required age to begin required-minimum-distributions was raised to 72 from 70 1/2
    • Contributions to IRA’s will be allowed to continue after the age of 70 1/2

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
Mike Cava, CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

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China, Brexit: Wealth Economic Update November 29, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • Increased optimism of a Phase One trade deal between the U.S. and China helped to bring major averages higher in the holiday-shortened week, including a 100th new record high for the Dow Jones under the Trump Presidency. Aiding this optimism was China announcing increased penalties on violations of intellectual property rights. Data out of China showing industrial profits declining -9.9% in the last year may also lend to China’s desire to speed up this Phase One process. However, the human rights situation in Hong Kong could potentially jeopardize this progress. President Trump has signed into law Congressional legislation supporting Hong Kong’s anti-government protestors, prompting Beijing to say it would take ‘firm counter-measures’ and that attempts to interfere would be doomed to fail.
  • england-957174246_370Sporting a comfortable lead in the poll ahead of the opposition Labour Party, Boris Johnson laid out his Tory agenda ahead of the December 12th In it he pledges to bring back his Brexit Deal to parliament before Christmas and ruled out any further delays. Johnson has also promised no new taxes, contrary to his opponent Jeremy Corbyn who has proposed additional taxes to fund a major expansion of the U.K.

Markets

  • Markets rose this week on continued optimism over trade. The S&P 500 gained 04% and closed at 3,141. The Dow Jones rose 0.75% and closed at 28,051. Year-to-date, the S&P is up 27.63% and the Dow Jones is up 23.05%.
  • Yields were little changed this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 63% and 1.78%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude dipped this week. Prices fell 07% and closed at $55.42 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 22.04%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose by 55% and closed at $1,463.93 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 14.15%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims declined by 15,000 to 213,000 and the four-week moving average fell by 1,000 to 220,000. Claims decreased by 4,000 in Illinois and 3,000 in California but rose by 4,000 in Texas and 2,000 in New York.
  • Third Quarter real GDP was revised up by 0.2% to 2.1% in the BEA’s second estimate. This was above expectations but the details were softer as rising inventories contributed most of the upward revision.
  • New home sales declined by -0.7% in October, slightly better than expectations. New sales decreased in the South (-15,000) and Northeast (-6,000), but rose in the West (+13,000) and Midwest (+3,000).
  • The Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.4% for September, beating expectations of 0.3%. Prices rose in 17 of 20 cities with Seattle (+0.8%), Los Angeles (+0.7%) and Phoenix (+0.6%) posting the largest increases. Home prices have risen 2.1% over the last 12 months as measured by Case-Shiller.

Fact of the Week

  • The combined size of the world’s economies as measured by gross domestic product totals $106 trillion. The combined debt of the world’s economies is $255 trillion, or 240% of the worlds’s GDP. Debt includes government debt, household debt and borrowing by non-financial companies. (Source: Institute of International Finance)

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
Mike Cava, CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

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Hong Kong Protests: Wealth Economic Update November 8, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • china-139085922_370On Monday, a 22-year-old Hong Kong student died after falling from a ledge of a car park during a police mission to clear an area during protests, sparking a new round of outrage against Beijing police. Reports say that the 22-year-old was trying to escape tear gas, however the exact reason for his fall are unclear. Additionally, a pro-Beijing lawmaker was stabbed in the street this week by someone impersonating a supporter. As of right now, police say that they were using tear gas to clear an area of protesters and deny any wrongdoing, but the death is creating outrage and a call for investigation by students at the city’s University of Science and Technology. Protests have become increasingly violent as Hong Kong continues to fight for Democracy with Chinese police, even after the controversial extradition bill was withdrawn in September.

Markets

  • Markets rose higher again this week. The S&P 500 gained 0.93% and closed at 3,093, an ALL TIME HIGH. The Dow Jones rose 1.37% and closed at 27,681. Year-to-date, the S&P is up 25.36% and the Dow Jones is up 20.98%.
  • Yields spiked this week amid China trade optimism. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 1.75% and 1.94%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude rose this week. Prices rose 2.14% and closed at $57.40 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 26.40%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell by 3.68% and closed at $1,458.15 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 13.70%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 8,000 to 211,000 and the four-week moving average remained unchanged at 215,000. Claims rose by 2,000 in Illinois and fell by 3,000 in Michigan.
  • Factory orders fell by 0.6% versus expectations for a decline of 0.5%
  • The ISM non-manufacturing index rose by 2.1 points to 54.7 versus expectations for a reading of 53.5
  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment rose by 0.2 points to 95.7 versus expectations for a reading of 95.5
  • Wholesale inventories fell by 0.4% versus expectations for a decline of 0.3%

Fact of the Week

37% of 2,003 Americans surveyed in the 1st quarter 2019 had less than $5,000 accumulated in pre-tax retirement accounts (source: Northwestern Mutual Planning & Progress Study).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
Mike Cava, CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

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Brexit vote: Wealth Economic Update October 18, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • brexit-1050622194_370British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set for a big day tomorrow as parliament is set to vote on a Brexit deal that the Prime Minister agreed on with the European Union on Thursday. Boris Johnson stated that he is “very confident” that the House of Commons will support the deal, which is widely expected to be a historically close vote and will determine whether there will be a deal or not before the October 31st deadline. The Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) stated that they are unable to support the deal as it stands, casting doubts over the passage of the deal tomorrow. If the MP’s reject the deal tomorrow, it is still possible that a vote on a “no-deal Brexit” could pass, but that is unlikely given historical votes on the this motion. The likely outcome if the Brexit deal is voted down tomorrow is that the United Kingdom will ask the European Union for another extension.


Markets

  • Markets were mixed this week after corporate earnings and Chinese economic data. The S&P 500 rose 0.55% and closed at 2,986. The Dow Jones fell 0.13% and closed at 26,770. Year-to-date, the S&P is up 20.96% and the Dow Jones is up 16.90%.
  • Yields rose slightly this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 1.56% and 1.75%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude moved lower this week this week. Prices fell 1.83% and closed at $53.70 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 18.26%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose by 0.11% and closed at $1,490.67 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 16.23%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 4,000 to 214,000 and the four-week moving average rose by 1,000 to 215,000. Claims increased by 5,000 in California.
  • The level of housing starts fell 9.4% to 1,256k versus expectations for a reading of 1,320k
  • Building permits fell by 2.7% versus expectations for a decline of 5.3%
  • Retail sales fell 0.3% versus expectations for an increase of 0.3%
  • Core retail sales remained unchanged versus expectations for a 0.3% increase
  • Industrial production fell by 0.4% versus expectations for a decline of 0.2%

Fact of the Week

  • In 2008, China’s economy was smaller than the economy of Japan ($4.5 Trillion vs $4.9 Trillion). In 2019, China’s economy is nearly triple that of Japan’s economy ($14.2 Trillion vs $5.2 Trillion)

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
Mike Cava, CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

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China negotiations, California blackouts: Wealth Economic Update October 11, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • china-1053768454_370Ahead of scheduled trade negotiations today with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the Trump administration has added 28 Chinese entities to an export blacklist as a consequence of Beijing’s repression of Muslim minorities. The Trump administration stated that this move is completely unrelated to trade negotiations and it will prevent the blacklisted companies from buying American components without government approval. China quickly responded by saying it would take countermeasures, “urging the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistake.” and announced a plan to restrict visas for U.S. nationals with ties to anti-China groups. The Chinese delegation arrived in Washington yesterday where negotiations began and President Trump announced that talks went “very well”. After the meeting at the White House, President Trump told the press that the U.S. and China have “come to a substantial phase 1 deal”. In exchange for the cancelation of the United States planned increase in tariffs on Chinese goods on October 15th, China has agreed to increase purchases of U.S. agriculture goods from $8 billion to $40-$50 billion and has agreed to be more transparent with regard to their currency.
  • California’s largest utility company PG&E took preventative measures and cut power to 700,000 households ahead of a string of days with 40 mile per hour winds that have sparked wildfires in the past. Late last night, a wildfire started in the San Fernando Valley area, just north of Los Angeles that is responsible for two deaths, covers 823 acres and is 10% contained. Approximately 100,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes and over 25 homes have been damaged so far. Water dropping helicopters worked to help extinguish the fire throughout the night and were accompanied by planes early this morning. Investigators say that they know how the Sandalwood Fire started, but they continue to look for any possible criminal activity.


Markets

  • Markets are higher after a volatile week. The S&P 500 rose 0.66% and closed at 2,970. The Dow Jones rose 0.93% and closed at 26,817. Year-to-date, the S&P is up 20.30% and the Dow Jones is up 17.05%.
  • Yields rebounded sharply this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 1.55% and 1.73%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude rose after an Iranian tanker near Saudi Arabia was attacked. Prices rose 3.77% and closed at $54.80 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 20.68%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell by 1.09% and closed at $1,488.24 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 16.04%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 10,000 to 210,000 and the four-week moving average rose by 1,000 to 214,000. Claims fell by 4,000 in Michigan, 3,000 in California, and 2,000 in Ohio.
  • The consumer price index (CPI) remained unchanged versus expectations for a 0.1% increase and the year-over-year rate rose by 1.7% versus expectations for a 1.8% increase
  • Core CPI rose by 0.1% versus expectations for a 0.2% increase and the year-over-year rate rose by 2.4%, in-line with expectations
  • The producer price index (PPI) fell by 0.3% versus expectations for a 0.1% increase
  • Wholesale inventories rose by 0.2% versus expectations for a 0.4% increase
  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment rose 2.8 points to 96.0 versus expectations for a reading of 92.0

Fact of the Week

  • At the beginning of the bull market that started on 3/10/09, the total market cap of all US stocks was $7.6 trillion. At the end of the third quarter (09/30/19) the total market cap of US stocks was $32.3 trillion. The S&P 500 makes up 80% of the total market cap of US stocks. (Source: Wilshire, 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
Mike Cava, CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

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Oil, Brexit, Fed market funding: Wealth Economic Update September 20, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • oil-1090135110_370Weekend drone strikes on the heart of the Saudi oil industry forced the kingdom to shut down half its crude production, amounting to a loss of 5.7M barrels a day, or roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil. Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important Aramco facilities, including the world’s largest oil processing plant and a major oil field. The disruption sent WTI futures as much as 15.5% higher overnight to $63.34, the biggest intraday percentage gain since June 22, 1998, while President Trump authorized a release of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as necessary. For the global oil market, the 5.7M bpd Saudi halt is the single worst sudden disruption ever, surpassing the loss following the Invasion of Kuwait and Iranian Revolution.
  • The stakes couldn’t be higher given the current Brexit turmoil as Britain’s highest court begins hearing arguments today on whether the government’s decision to suspend Parliament was lawful (judges in England and Scotland previously came to contrasting conclusions). Boris Johnson argues that he asked the Queen to prorogue the lower house in order to introduce a new legislative agenda, but critics accuse him of attempting to stymie debate and push through a no-deal Brexit before an Oct. 31 deadline.
  • Policymakers have been thrown another unexpected curveball as cash available to banks for their short-term funding needs all but dried up on Monday and Tuesday. That forced the New York Fed to make an emergency injection of more than $50B, its first since the financial crisis, to bring down key short-term rates that had spiked to as high as 10%. Fed traders will be back this morning to restore calm by offering another $75B of cash to the market.


Markets

  • Markets receded slightly this week. The S&P 500 was down 0.5% and closed at 2992.03. The Dow Jones fell by 1.05% and closed at 26,935.07. Year-to-date, the S&P is up 21.04% and the Dow Jones is up 17.49%.
  • Yields came back down after a pop last week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 1.6% and 1.715%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude soared after the attack in Saudi Arabia. Prices rose 5.9% and closed at $58.09 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 27.92%.
  • The spot price of Gold gained 1.87% and closed at $1,516.29 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 18.23%.

Economic Data

  • Existing home sales rose by 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.49 million units in the August report, against consensus expectations for a 0.7% decline. August home sales rose for both single-family units (+1.2%) and condos and co-ops (+1.7%). Sales increased in three of four regions, led by the Northeast (+7.6%), and followed by the Midwest (+3.1%) and South (+0.9%). Sales declined in the West (-3.4%).
  • The level of housing starts increased to 1,364k in August above expectations for a more moderate increase. Single-family starts increased by 4.4% while the volatile multi-family category increased by 32.8%. August housing starts increased in three out of four regions, led by the Northeast (+30.5%), and followed by the Midwest (+15.4%) and South (+14.9%). Housing starts were flat in the West.
  • Building permits increased 7.7%, above expectations, with a 4.5% increase in single-family permits alongside a 13.3% increase in multi-family permits. Permits increased in the Northeast (+26.9%), Midwest (+14.5%), and South (+11.0%), and declined in the West (-7.8%).
  • Industrial production rose by 0.6% in August, against consensus expectations for a smaller increase. Manufacturing production rose by 0.5%, driven by a 0.6% increase in ex-auto manufacturing and offset by a 1.0% decline in auto manufacturing. The capex-sensitive business equipment category rebounded 1.0%. The utilities component, an input into consumption in the GDP accounts, rose 0.6% further, after rising 3.7% in July. Industrial production growth in July was revised up by 0.1pp to -0.1%.

Fact of the Week

  • The median household income (adjusted for inflation) was the highest ever recorded in the USA at $63,179. It was the third consecutive year (2016-2018) that the USA has produced an all time high in adjusted median household income. Prior to 2016, the record high was set in 1999. (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

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
Mike Cava, CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@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, Brexit: Wealth Economic Update August 24, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • Early this morning, China announced its plan to impose retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion of American goods including soybeans, automobiles, and oil as a response to the Trump administrations planned additional tariffs on Chinese imports. The new retaliatory tariffs are scheduled to take effect on September 1st and December 15th, the same schedule as the United States 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods goes into effect. This new set of retaliatory tariffs targets U.S. farms and factories, bringing the total tariff on U.S. automobile exports to 50%. The announcement comes as the G7 summit takes place in France and the Federal Reserve meeting in Jackson Hole Wyoming, two critical meetings where the trade war with China will be discussed.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Germany and France this week to continue to push his message that Brexit will not be stopped, with or without negotiations. Boris Johnson also wrote a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk stating the the Irish backstop plan is “unviable” and must be removed, hinting that if it were, it could lead to a Brexit deal being approved by parliament before the Brexit deadline. Brexiteers believe that the Irish backstop poses a threat to the independence of the U.K. from the European Union post-Brexit as the U.K. would be restricted from making trade deals with other countries. The European Union has stated that the Irish backstop is necessary for the free movement of goods, services, and people.


Markets

  • Markets plummeted this week as the trade war with China has ramped up again. The S&P 500 fell 1.42% and closed at 2,847. The Dow Jones declined by 0.98% and closed at 25,629. Year-to-date, the S&P is up 15.07% and the Dow Jones is up 11.64%.
  • Yields fell slightly this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 1.41% and 1.53%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude fell this week. Prices declined 1.72% and closed at $53.87 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 18.63%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 0.82% and closed at $1,525.91 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 18.98%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 12,000 to 209,000. The four week moving average of claims rose by 1,000 to 215,000. Claims fell by 6,000 in California.
  • Existing home sales rose by 2.5% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.42 million, in-line with expectations
  • Sales of new single-family homes fell by 12.8% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 635k units versus expectations of 647k units

Fact of the Week

  • The bond market (as measured by the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate bond index) has had a negative total return just 3 of the last 40 years. Those years were 1994, 1999, 2013. The year to date total return of the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate ETF (AGG) as of close 8/22 is 8.14%. (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
Mike Cava, CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@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.

 

Brexit calls for resignation, China trade: Wealth Economic Update May 24, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • iStock-1057358690British Prime Minister Theresa May’s last ditch effort to deliver Brexit through a deal filled with compromises with the Labour Party has failed as calls for her resignation only grew louder. The U.K. participated in European elections this week, putting a sour taste into the mouths of British politicians who had originally planned to watch this event from the sidelines. Results of the European Union elections will be announced after 10P.M on Sunday and British Conservatives are expected to suffer a dramatic defeat. Theresa May has announced that she will resign on June 7th and stated that “It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit”. The British Pound has fallen substantially amid all of the uncertainty and the process to elect a new leader will begin next week.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping tone has shifted in regards to the trade war with the United States when he stated on Monday that China is embarking on a “new Long March, and we must start all over again!”. In addition, a propaganda song, titled “Trade War” about the U.S.-China trade war has gone viral in China. Reports say that China is exploring a retaliation move in response to the Huawei ban that will likely include cutting natural gas purchases from the United States. The Trump administration has announced a $16 billion trade aid program for American farmers who have been hurt by the trade war. Soybean farmers have been impacted the most as the value of soybean exports to China fell 74% in 2018.


Markets

  • Markets continued to fall this week. The S&P 500 fell 1.14% and closed at 2,826. The Dow Jones fell 0.63% and closed at 25,586. Year to date, the S&P is up 13.66% and the Dow Jones is up 10.78%.
  • Yields also fell further this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.12% and 2.32, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude oil plummeted this week. Prices dropped 6.34% and closed at $58.93 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 29.77%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 0.56% this week and closed at $1,284.69 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 0.17%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless fell to 211,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims fell by 5,000 to 220,000. Claims fell by 2,000 in California and Illinois.
  • Existing home sales fell 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.19 million units versus expectations for a 2.7% increase
  • Sales of new single-family homes fell by 6.9% in April to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 673k units versus expectations for 675k units
  • Durable goods orders fell by 2.1% versus expectations for a decline of 2.0%
  • Durable goods orders ex-transport was unchanged versus expectations for a 0.1% increase
  • Core capital goods orders fell 0.9% versus expectations for a 0.3% decline

Fact of the Week

  • It would cost about $334 per person per year in Illinois to cover the funding costs for the 5 state pension funds. Illinois law current requires that the pensions funds be 90% funded by 2045. (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
Mike Cava, CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@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, Brexit, EU: Wealth Economic Update May 17, 2019

U.S. and World News

  • china_us-1035146880Earlier this week, China announced new tariffs on $60 billion of American imports in response to the tariff increase by the United States. The Trump administration will subsidize U.S. farmers with $15 billion in aid, in addition to the Department of Agriculture’s $12 billion compensation plan that was put into place last year. President Trump has stated his intention to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in June. The United States also has banned China’s Huawei Technologies from buying U.S. technology without special approval and has restricted its equipment from being any part of U.S. telecom networks. Equipment produced by Huawei Technologies, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, is allegedly used by the Chinese to spy, however Huawei has denied those allegations.
  • Brexit drama heats up again after weeks of negotiations between Theresa May and opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn have closed with Jeremy Corbyn telling the media that his party will oppose the deal. The Conservative Party has been enraged with Theresa May over the past month for negotiating with the Labour Party and Theresa May has finally set a timetable for her departure as prime minister in the beginning of June. Jeremy Corbyn added that the strong probability of Theresa May soon being replaced had contributed to his decision to oppose her deal.
  • As trade negotiations with China have been extended into the foreseeable future, the Trump administration has delayed tariffs on cars and auto part imports from the European Union and Japan for up to six months. In February, the Commerce Department had found that car imports and certain auto parts harm national security, leading to the planned auto tariffs. Agreements have already been made with Canada, Mexico, and Korea, while the European Union and Japan have rejected the idea.


Markets

  • Markets are lower after another volatile week. The S&P 500 fell 0.69% and closed at 2,860. The Dow Jones fell 0.61% and closed at 25,764. Year to date, the S&P is up 14.96% and the Dow Jones is up 11.48%.
  • Yields continued to fall this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.18% and 2.39, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose this week. Prices climbed 1.67% and closed at $62.69 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 38.05%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 0.63% this week and closed at $1,277.97 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 0.35%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless fell to 212,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 5,000 to 225,000. Claims rose by 4,000 in California
  • The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rose 8.1 points to 16.6 versus expectations for a reading of 9.0
  • Housing starts rose 5.7% to 1,235k versus expectations for a 6.2% increase to 1,209k
  • Building permits rose by 0.6% versus expectations for a 0.1% increase
  • Import prices rose by 0.2% versus expectations for a 0.7% increase
  • Import prices ex-petroleum fell by 0.6% versus expectations for a 0.2% increase
  • Retail sales fell by 0.2% versus expectations for a 0.2% increase
  • Retail sales ex-auto & gas fell by 0.2% versus expectations for a 0.3% increase
  • Industrial production fell by 0.5% versus expectations for an unchanged reading
  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment rose by 5.2 points to 102.4 in the preliminary report versus expectations for a reading of 97.2.

Fact of the Week

  • From its closing high of 2946 on April 30th, the S&P 500 has fallen 3.56% to 2859. Since the beginning of the bull market on 3/10/09, the market has had 12 pullbacks of at least 5%, including 6 drops at least 10% and 3 of at least 15%. (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
Mike Cava, CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@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.