Korea, Macron: Wealth Economic Update Apr. 27, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • korea_handshake-824604454_360The leaders of North and South Korea announced this morning that they would end the war that has lasted nearly 70 years and that they would begin pursuing “complete denuclearization” of the peninsula after holding a historic summit at the border. This marked the first time that a North Korean leader set foot in South Korea since 1953. The two leaders also agreed on potentially having high-level talks and negotiations with the United States and China.
  • President Trump met with French President Emanuel Macron earlier this week to discuss foreign policy issues. Following the meeting, Emanuel Macron stated that he believes that President Trump will scrap the Iran nuclear deal before the May 12th deadline, citing the president’s strong negative feelings about the deal. The Iran deal consists of billions of dollars in sanctions imposed on Iran being removed in exchange for an agreement to cease its nuclear program.


  • After another volatile week in the markets, the indices are almost unchanged from last week. The S&P 500, in a very rare occurrence, returned 0.00% this week and closed at 2,669.91. The Dow Jones fell 0.62% and closed at 24,311.19. Year to date, the S&P is up 0.45% and the Dow Jones is down 1.01%.
  • Yields were also unchanged from last week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.80% and 2.96%, respectively, the same exact level as last Friday’s close.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil moved lower this week by 0.53% and closed at $68.04 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 13.19%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell this week by 0.98%, closing at $1,323.33 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 1.58%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims declined 24,000 to 209,000 for the week. The largest declines were in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The four-week moving average moved down 2,000 to 229,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • New durable goods orders increased by 2.6% in March exceeding expectations of a 1.6% increase. The increase was largely influenced by the 44.5% increase in non-defense aircraft orders. N
    • New durable goods order ex-transportations was flat for the month of March compared to expectations of a 0.5% increase.
  • Wholesale inventories rose by 0.5% in March missing expectations of a 0.7% increase. The figure was held lower by a decline in retail inventories of -0.4%.
    Real GDP rose by 2.3% in the first quarter of 2018 versus expectations of a 2.0% increase.

    • Consumption growth slowed to 1.1% versus 4.0% in quarter four.
    • Housing investment came in at -3.5% versus expectations of a 0.1% increase.
    • Government spending came in at -1.4% versus expectations of a 2.5% increase.
    • Nonresidential structures rose 12.3% versus expectations of a 7.0% increase.
  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment rose 1.0 point to 98.8 in April versus expectations of 98.0.
  • Existing home sales rose 1.1% in March to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.60 million units exceeding expectations of a 0.2% increase.
  • Consumer confidence rose to 128.7 in April exceeding expectations of 126.0.

Fact of the Week

  • Amazon closed today at $1572.96, after reaching an all-time high during trading at $1633.26. Amazon’s first close in 1997 was $1.96, on a split-adjusted basis. If you have invested $10,000 at the first closing price, your investment would be worth $8,023,507.24 as of close today. (Source: Money.net)

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, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

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