Brexit, California Wildfires: Wealth Economic Update Nov. 17, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • The British pound had a volatile week as uncertainty around the outcome of a Brexit deal rose higher. Theresa May has lost transport minister Jo Johnson and Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab within the past week and risks further resignations of pro-EU ministers. There was a Cabinet meeting held this week in an attempt to gain support on an agreement with a focus on the controversial Irish border. The deal would force Britain to abide by European rules and would make it very difficult for Britain to negotiate trade deals with other countries. Citing Brexiteer sources, Telegraph Chief Political Correspondent Christopher Hope tweeted “The threshold of 48 letters of no confidence in Theresa May will be passed today. They are expecting a no confidence vote in the PM on Tuesday”.

  • The death toll has climbed to 65 and over 600 people are missing in the deadliest wildfire in California state history. The two major fires are the Camp Fire, just north of Sacramento, which is 45% contained and the Woolsey Fire, just outside of Los Angeles, which is 69% contained. The state of California is also battling very serious air quality issues as a result of the fire, with the smoke continuing to flow southwest. The California utility company PG&E’s faulty power lines are believed to have started the fire.


Markets

  • Stocks retreated this week from last week’s gains. The S&P 500 fell 1.54% and closed at 2,736. The Dow Jones dropped 2.15% and closed at 25,413. Year to date, the S&P is up 4.12% and the Dow Jones is up 4.84%.
  • Yields dropped sharply from last week and the yield curve steepened. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.88% and 3.07%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil continued falling this week, shedding another 5.63% and closing at $56.80 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down 5.51%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 0.99% this week and closed at $1,221.59 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 6.23%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 2,000 to 216,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims rose by 1,000 to 215,000. Claims increased by 2,000 in New York and fell by 3,000 in Michigan, 2,000 in North Carolina, and 2,000 in California.
  • Retail sales rose by 0.8% in October versus expectations for a 0.5% increase. This was led by sales at gas stations.
    • Retail sales ex-autos rose 0.7% versus expectations for a 0.5% increase.
    • Retail sales ex-auto & gas rose by 0.3% versus expectations for a 0.4% increase.
  •  Import prices rose by 0.5% in October versus expectations for a 0.1% increase.
    •  Import prices-ex petroleum rose by 0.2% versus expectations for a flat reading.
  •  The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index fell by 9.3 points to 12.9 in November versus expectations for a reading of 20.0.
  •  The Empire State manufacturing index increased by 2.2 points to 23.3 in November versus expectations for a reading of 20.0.
  •  The consumer price index (CPI) rose by 0.33% in October, meeting expectations. The increase was driven by higher energy prices. The year-over-year rate came in a 2.53%, also meeting expectations.
    •  Core CPI rose by 0.19% in October, meeting expectations. The year-over-year rate came in at 2.15%, also meeting expectations.
  •  Industrial production rose by 0.1% in October versus expectations for a 0.2% increase.
  •  Manufacturing production rose by 0.3% in October versus expectations for a 0.2% increase.

Fact of the Week

  • As of October 31, the US was producing 11.2 million barrels of crude oil a day, while importing 7.3 million barrels. US oil production has risen substantially from October 2016, when the US produced only 8.5 million barrels and imported 9 million. (Source: BTN Research)

Please contact a member of the Wealth Management Department if you have any questions about this information.

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Steve Meves, CFA® – (630) 801-2217 – smeves@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com
Mike Demski – (630) 966-2430 mdemski@oldsecond.com
Mike Cava – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

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.

Iran, Midterm Elections: Wealth Economic Update Nov. 9, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • On Monday, sanctions on Iran imposed by the United States that target the oil, banking and transportations sectors have taken affect. The sanctions were imposed as a means to end Iran’s nuclear program. Eight countries were given temporary exemptions, allowing them to continue to import Iranian petroleum. This will buy time for Iran to continue to negotiate their missile and nuclear programs with the United States, however, Iran is taking a tough stance on the sanctions. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated that Iran will “sell its oil and break sanctions” and that “This is an economic war against Iran, but we are prepared to resist any pressure”.
  • In a widely expected outcome, the 2018 midterm election resulted in the Democrats gaining control of the House of Representatives while the Republicans retained control of the Senate. In two closely watched, key races, Republican Ron DeSantis defeated Tallahassee Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum for Governor of Florida and Republican Ted Cruz was able to keep his Texas Senate seat after defeating Beto O’Rourke. Also, 29-year-old Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest women ever elected to Congress after her victory in New York’s 14th district.


Markets

  • Stocks continued their climb higher this week, despite the declines seen today. The S&P 500 rose 2.21% and closed at 2,781. The Dow Jones gained 3.00% and closed at 25,989. Year to date, the S&P is up 5.72% and the Dow Jones is up 7.10%.
  • Yields ended the week mostly unchanged from last week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 3.04% and 3.18%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil slid into a bear market this week, losing another 5.26% and closing at $59.82 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down 0.48%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 1.91% this week and closed at $1,209.35 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 7.17%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 214,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims did not change and remained at 214,000. Claims fell by 5,000 in Illinois and by 3,000 in Missouri.
  • The ISM non-manufacturing index declined by 1.3 points to 60.3 versus expectations for a reading of 59.0.
  • The producer price index (PPI) increased by 0.6% month-over-month in October versus expectations for a 0.2% increase. The year-over-year figure rose by 2.9%. 
    • PPI excluding food, energy, and trade services rose by 0.2% month-over-month, in-line with expectations. The year-over-year figure rose by 2.8%.
  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment fell by 0.3 points to 98.3 in the November preliminary reading versus expectations for a reading of 98.0.
  • Wholesale inventories rose by 0.4% for September versus expectations for a 0.3% increase.

Fact of the Week

  • Tuesday’s Midterm elections saw Democrats taking control of the house while Republicans bolstered their control of the senate. Historically, returns in the S&P 500 under a Republican President, Republican Senate, and Democratic House are 10.8% annualized. (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
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.

Interest rates, Midterms, NAFTA, Saudis: Wealth Management Special Update Oct. 26, 2018

Following a largely positive 3rd quarter during which the S&P 500 set a new all-time high, markets have moved sharply lower to begin the month of October. Gains in both the S&P and Dow have been wiped out, while the Nasdaq is clinging to a ~2% gain. The recent weakness has been heaviest in those Nasdaq/Growth stocks which have been leadership for the last few years. While there is no clear cause of the near 10% correction in stocks, there are a number of factors that may be contributing:

  • Recent communication from the Federal Reserve indicates a commitment to further rate hikes which the markets have perceived as too aggressive. To borrow from our research partner Strategas, “The level of interest rates that the economy can take is higher that the interest rate financial markets are comfortable with.” So despite an otherwise strong economy which justifies further rate increases, the markets have responded poorly to the perceived path of hikes. With the recent market downturn, implied odds of a December rate hike have fallen from over 80% to 69%, though the Fed seems intent on one more hike in 2018.
  • ballot-884243522_370October tends to be a weak time seasonally for equity markets, in particular during midterm election years. Markets don’t like uncertainty, so a midterm election that has the potential to swing the balance of power in Congress could be a source of heightened volatility. While there may be some specific industries or sectors that win or lose based on the outcomes, historically the broad market indices rally into year-end following the midterms once the results are clear.
  • Trade continues to be an issue. The USMCA agreement (updated NAFTA), which has been agreed to in principle by the U.S., Mexico and Canada, won’t be voted on until 2019 when the new Congress comes in, raising fears that its passage may be impeded if the Democrats are to take control. The tariff war with China continues on and little to no progress towards a resolution has been made.
  • The situation with Saudi Arabia has intensified and fears of isolation of that country and its potential effect on oil prices is a cause for concern.

Despite these concerns, the underlying fundamental data of the economy remains strong. Growth (GDP), employment and earnings figures continue to be solid and valuations are reasonable. With interest rates rising and the real rate of interest now positive (rates exceed inflation) for the first time since the financial crisis, companies are no long enjoying a near zero cost of capital. This results in more rationed allocations of capital and greater volatility as there is less margin for error for companies from more expensive capital and cash as an asset class is more viable. Increased volatility and lower correlations between assets is likely here to stay throughout the remainder of this cycle and benefits the active management approach.

 

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.