Coronavirus, China, Reopenin: O2 Wealth Economic Update, May 8, 2020

U.S. and World News

  • virus-1204033162_370During a press conference, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that he has seen “significant evidence” that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory and alluded to the possibility of a restructuring, stating “how we restructure … supply chains to prevent something like this from ever happening again”. Another U.S. government official stated that the United States is “turbocharging” the previously put in place initiative to remove global industrial supply chains from China. Some examples of action that could be taken are tax incentives and re-shoring of subsidies for companies doing business in China. The United States is not alone in this initiative as other large trading partners such as India, Japan, and members of the European Union have set aside funds for incentives to companies doing business in China. The United States is also considering creating an “Economic Prosperity Network” (EPN) that would consist of trusted trading partners such as Japan, India, Australia, and others to work toward balancing the economic, political, and security imperatives so that there is less reliance on China for supplies.
  • Several states across the country are beginning the process of reopening their economies, while others remain under shelter-in-place orders. Governors are taking different approaches with regards to reopening business as the number of daily new coronavirus cases falls lower. Most states have already unveiled plans to open by Memorial day weekend, however, there are strict social distancing guidelines that must be followed in retail stores and restaurants. Governor Cuomo of New York, the most severely affected state, announced plans to reopen parts of the state in a lengthy 12-step process. Businesses in Georgia must continue to operate under social distancing and enhanced sanitary guidelines until May 13th, and the State of Emergency will expire on June 12th. Governor Kemp of Georgia was openly criticized by many, including President Trump, for his decision to prematurely open business within the state.

Markets

  • Markets spike higher this week. The S&P 500 jumped 3.56% and closed at 2,930. The Dow Jones rose 2.67% and closed at 24,331. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down -8.69% and the Dow Jones is down -14.03%.
  • The yield curve steepened this week, with short-term yields falling and long-term yields rising. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.32% and 0.68%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude rose higher again this week. Prices surged 24.30% and closed at $24.59 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -59.70%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 0.35% and closed at $1,706.41 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 12.46%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 67,000 to 3.2 million and the four-week moving average of claims fell by 861,000 to 4.2 million. Claims rose by 36,000 in New Jersey, 32,000 in Maryland, and by 19,000 in Connecticut. Claims fell by 302,000 in Florida, 69,000 in Georgia, and by 66,000 in Alabama.
  • Nonfarm productivity fell 2.5% in the first quarter versus expectations for a decline of 5.5%
  • Factory orders fell 10.3% versus expectations for a 9.7% decline
  • The ISM non-manufacturing index fell by 10.7 points to 41.8 versus expectations for a reading of 38.0
  • Private sector employment in the ADP report fell by 20.2 million versus expectations for a decline of 20.6 million
  • Nonfarm payrolls fell 20.5 million in April versus expectations for a decline of 22 million
  • The unemployment rate came in at 14.7% versus expectations for a reading of 16.0%
  • Average hourly earnings rose by 4.7% versus expectations for a 0.4% increase
  • Wholesale inventories fell by 0.8% versus expectations for a decline of 1.0%

Fact of the Week

  • In the 3 years through 3/31/20, the number of US households (both owners and renters) has increased by +5.5 million to 124.4 million. The number of owner households has increased by +5.6 million to 81.3 million while the number of renter households has declined by 0.1 million to 43.1 million (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
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 CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com

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Coronavirus, Rates: O2 Wealth Economic Update, May 1, 2020

U.S. and World News

  • piggy-1212172874_370bAs the coronavirus has spread to over 3.2 million people and resulted in over 230,000 deaths, discussions among world leaders regarding the root cause of the virus have begun. While President Trump was talking to reporters Thursday night about the progress of the trade deal he stated that it “becomes secondary to what took place with the virus”, indicating that there could be repercussions for China. The President stated during the press conference that China was spreading misinformation when the virus began to spread and even said that he saw evidence that the virus originated in a Chinese lab. The calls for an investigation from lawmakers across Europe into the root cause of the virus are being supported by Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Union’s executive arm. Additionally, she had indicated that she would like to see China work with her organization, and others, during the investigation. In response to widespread criticism over its handling of the virus, Chinese Vice Premier Le Yucheng stated that “China has been open, transparent and responsible in its COVID-19 response.”
  • The Federal Open Market Committee concluded the April meeting with no changes to interest rates, forward guidance, the asset purchase plan, or the credit facilities. When asked about forward guidance, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stated that “we’re not going to be in any hurry to move rates up”. Jerome Powell noted dramatic changes in the economy, including a double-digit unemployment rate and weakening inflation in the near-term. The Fed will keep interest rates at their current levels “until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.”

Markets

  • Markets ended the week relatively unchanged from last week in another volatile week. The S&P 500 declined -0.19% and closed at 2,831. The Dow Jones fell -0.22% and closed at 23,724. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down -11.83% and the Dow Jones is down -16.26%.
  • Yields rose slightly this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.36% and 0.62%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude rebounded sharply this week. Prices spiked 16.23% and closed at $19.69 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down -67.75%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell -1.74% and closed at $1,699.57 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 12.02%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 603,000 to 3.8 million and the four-week moving average of claims fell by 757,000 to 5.0 million. Claims increased by 79,000 in Washington, 55,000 in Georgia, and by 23,000 in New York. Claims fell by 173,000 in California, 78,000 in Florida, and by 68,000 in New Jersey
  • Personal income fell by 2.0% versus expectations for a decline of 1.7%
  • Personal spending fell by 7.5% versus expectations for a decline of 5.1%
  • The PCE price index fell by 0.3%, in-line with expectations and the year-over-year rate rose by 1.3%, in-line with expectations
  • Wholesale inventories fell 1.0% versus expectations for a decline of 0.4%
  • The Conference Board index of consumer confidence fell by 31.9 points to 86.9 versus expectations for a reading of 87.0
  • Pending home sales fell by 20.8% versus expectations for a decline of 13.6%
  • Real GDP fell by 4.8% in the first quarter versus expectations for a decline of 4.0%
  • Personal consumption fell by 7.6% versus expectations for a decline of 3.6%
  • The ISM manufacturing index came in at 41.5 versus expectations for a reading of 36.0
  • Construction spending rose by 0.9% versus expectations for a decline of 3.5%

Fact of the Week

  • April of 2020 was the best month for the stock market since 1987 and the third-best since World War II with the S&P 500 gaining 12.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 11.1%. The S&P 500 rose 13.2% in January of 1987 and 16.3% in October of 1974. (Source: Factset)

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 CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com

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Coronavirus, Kim Jong Un: O2 Wealth Economic Update, April 24, 2020

U.S. and World News

  • iStock-1211588220Some states are moving forward with reopening business and easing restrictions as they attempt to put the economy back on track. Georgia has allowed barber shops, tattoo parlors, hair salons, massage parlors, and gyms to open cautiously, with requirements such as screening of customers, wearing protective gear, and additional cleaning. Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia has faced criticism for opening business prematurely in a state that has lacked sufficient testing. This morning President Trump signed into law a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill that will primarily provide additional funding to small businesses while also providing funding to hospitals and efforts to increase testing. Some larger public companies have been criticized for taking government aid when unnecessary, while other companies such as Neiman Marcus have announced that they would file for bankruptcy protection. President Trump indicated this week the possibility of social distancing guidelines being extended into early summer and Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that the coronavirus will likely return in the fall. Developing a vaccine remains a critical task for the world and health care giants Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna remain optimistic about their efforts.
  • Speculators say that Kim Jong Un’s health is in danger following his absence from a birthday celebration of North Korea’s founding father, Kim Il Sung. It was reported that Kim underwent cardiovascular surgery, leading to rumors about his ill health, while a South Korean newspaper reported that Kim is “currently touring provincial areas with his close aides.” The Kingdom that is known to lack transparency, has admitted this week to having cases of the coronavirus. President Trump stated that he believes the report of Kim Jong Un’s illness is incorrect.

Markets

  • Markets finished the week lower. The S&P 500 lost 1.3% and closed at 2,837. The Dow Jones fell 1.9% and closed at 23,775. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is down 11.7% and the Dow Jones is down 16.1%.
  • Yields moved lower this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 0.36% and 0.59%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude dropped this week. Prices tumbled 31.8% and closed at $17.08 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are down 72.0%.
  • The spot price of Gold spiked 2.6% and closed at $1,726.80 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 13.8%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 810,000 to 4.4 million and the four-week moving average of claims rose by 280,000 to 5.8 million. Claims rose by 379,000 in Florida, 41,000 in West Virginia, and by 31,000 in Texas. Claims fell by 219,000 in New York, 106,000 in Michigan, and by 105,000 in California.
  • Existing home sales fell by 8.5% to a seasonally-adjusted-annualized rate of 5.27 million units versus expectations for a decline of 9.0%
  • Sales of new single-family homes fell by 15.4% to a seasonally-adjusted-annualized rate of 627,000 units versus expectations for a reading of 644,000 units
  • New orders for durable goods fell by 14.4% versus expectations for a decline of 12.0%
  • Durable goods ex-transports fell by 0.2% versus expectations for a decline of 6.5%
  • Core capital goods orders rose by 0.1% versus expectations for a decline of 6.7%
  • Core capital goods shipments fell by 0.2% versus expectations for a decline of 7.0%
  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment increased by 0.8 points to 71.8 versus expectations for a reading of 68.0

Fact of the Week

  • The average price of gas in the US today is $1.745, the lowest level since February of 2016. At the beginning of the year, the average price at the pump was $2.57, a decline of 32% this year. The lowest current price at any gas station in the US is $0.75 in Francis Creek, Wisconsin. (Source: GasBuddy)

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 CFA®, CFP® – (630) 281-4522 mcava@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

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China tariffs, North-South Korea: Wealth Economic Update Sept. 21, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • Earlier this week, the United States put in place a 10% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods, below the originally planned 25% rate. However, this rate will increase to 25% at year end, leaving more time for negotiations. China also came back with a more gentle response than expected, placing tariffs on $60 billion of United States goods and stating that they will not use currency devaluation as a means to boost their exports. It is rumored that China is planning to cut average tariff rates on imports from most of its trading partners, including the United States, as soon as next month. This move would be in line with China’s pledge to support more imports.
  • north_south_korea-187088168_370South Korean President Moon stated that during a three-day summit with Kim Jong Un this week, the North Korean leader expressed interest in having a second summit with Donald Trump in the near future to speed up denuclearization. Moon also said that Kim is now open to inspections at North Korea’s last existing facility for underground tests in Punggye-ri, where he previously would not allow inspections. The United States demands that North Korea accomplishes a “verifiable, irreversible, dismantlement” of its nuclear program before the U.S. satisfies their demand of an end to the war.


Markets

  • Stocks continued moving higher this week amid easing trade tensions. The S&P 500 rose 0.86% and closed at 2,930. The Dow Jones surged 2.25% and closed at 26,744. Year to date, the S&P is up 11.03% and the Dow Jones is up 9.88%.
  • Yields also rose much higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are yielding 2.95% and 3.07%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil surged 3.01% this week to close at $70.84 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 17.85%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose 0.36% this week, and closed at $1,199.18 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 7.95%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 3,000 to 201,000 this week. The four-week moving average of claims moved down by 2,000 to 206,000. Claims fell by 7,000 in California and 2,000 in Florida and South Carolina, but rose by 2,000 in New Jersey. This is the lowest level of jobless claims since 1969.
  • Housing starts rose by 9.2% in August to 1,282k versus expectations of 1,238k. Housing starts in the West region were mostly responsible for the higher than expected figure.
  • Building permits fell by 5.7% to an annualized rate of 1,229k in August versus expectations of a 0.5% increase. This was the largest drop since 2011.
  • Existing home sales were flat in August versus expectations for a 0.5% increase.


Fact of the Week

  • During the 30 years ending 8/31/2018, the best 12 month performance and the worst 12 month performance happened in a single 24 month period. The worst performance occurred from 03/01/2008 to 2/28/2009 while the best performance occurred 03/01/2009 to 2/28/2010. (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

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

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Italy, China tariffs, North Korea: Wealth Economic Update June 4, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • italy-469253936_360Italian President Sergio Mattarella blocked the formation of an anti-establishment government earlier this week, sparking fears of a snap election and roiling European markets. The left-wing 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League tried to appoint economist and anti-European Union politician Paolo Savona as finance minister. The two eventually formed an agreement to form a new coalition government, appointing economics professor Giovanni Tria as finance minister. Italy’s departure from the European Union remains a possibility in the future as the 5-Star Movement and the League both want to leave the European Union.
  • Washington has moved forward with its proposal of 25% tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods and restrictions on Chinese investment in U.S. high-tech industries. The United States has also announced import tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Mexico, and Canada, which will be met with retaliatory tariffs on various U.S. goods including jeans, bourbon, motorcycles, whiskey, orange juice, metals, and other food products. Canada is challenging the U.S. tariffs under NAFTA Chapter 20 and the dispute settlement process through the World Trade Organization, which threatens the success of NAFTA negotiations.
  • President Trump stated that a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jon Un will take place, as previously scheduled, on June 12th in Singapore after a high level official from North Korea visited the White House today for the first time since 2000. The goal of the summit will be to rid North Korea of its nuclear arms, and what will be provided in exchange is up for negotiation. President Trump stated that he expects a number of summits to take place before all of the issues are settled.

Markets

  • The markets ended mixed this week. The S&P 500 gained 0.54% this week and closed at 2,734.62. The Dow Jones fell 0.38% and closed at 24,635.21. Year to date, the S&P is up 3.12% and the Dow Jones is up 0.69%.
  • Yields also experienced above average volatility this week and ended the week slightly lower. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.75% and 2.90%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell another 3.26% this week and closed at $65.67 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 9.25%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell by 0.66% this week, closing at $1,293.77 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down -0.70%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell 13,000 this week to 2221,000. The largest declines were in California and Kentucky. The four-week moving average moved higher by 2,000 to 222,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • Personal income rose 0.3% in April, meeting expectations• Consumer spending rose 0.6% in April, exceeding expectations of a 0.3% increase.
  • Consumer confidence rose to 128.0 in May, matching expectations.
  • Pending home sales fell 1.3% in April versus expectations of a 0.4% increase. The decline was led by sales in the Midwest region.
  • Nonfarm payroll growth rose by 223,000 in May versus expectations of a 190,000 increase. Job gains were led by the retail, construction, and leisure and hospitality sectors.
    • The unemployment rate ticked lower to 3.8% from 3.9%.
    • The labor force participation rate fell to 62.7%
    • Average hourly earnings increased 0.30% in May versus expectations of a 0.20% increase and the year-over-year rate increased to 2.7%.

Fact of the Week

  • 58 publicly-held US companies produced at least $1 billion of sales per week in 2017, up from 39 companies that accomplished that level of weekly sales in 2007. Just 1 domestic company generated more than $1 billion of sales per day during 2017 (source: Fortune).

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

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

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China, Trade, Korea: Wealth Economic Update May 25, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • cars-695675608_400Another round of trade negotiations will take place from June 2nd until June 4th as a U.S. delegation travels to China. China has pledged to reduce the import tariff on passenger vehicles to 15% from 25%. Another factor has been added to the trade negotiations after President Trump has announced an investigation under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 which would allow the president to restrict imports or levy tariffs on foreign goods that excessively displace domestic goods or cause substantial unemployment. China responded by expressing their opposition to the abuse of national security clauses, but will firmly defend their rights and interests.
  • President Trump canceled the planned June 12th meeting in Singapore between himself and Kim Jong-Un yesterday after a nasty war of words took place over its nuclear weapons program. This morning, foreign journalists watched as North Korea blew up tunnels leading to its nuclear facilities and President Trump expressed optimism about the summit between the two leaders taking place in the near future. North Korea remains under extremely tough international sanctions to pressure the country to end its nuclear weapons program.

 

 

Markets

  • The markets rose slightly higher this week. The S&P 500 gained 0.33% this week and closed at 2,721.33. The Dow Jones rose 0.18% and closed at 24,753.09. Year to date, the S&P is up 2.57% and the Dow Jones is up 1.07%.
  • Yields dropped significantly this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.77% and 2.93%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil plummeted 5.31% this week and closed at $67.58 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 12.43%.
  • The spot price of Gold increased by 0.62%, closing at $1,301.09 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down -0.13%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose 11,000 once again this week to 234,000, a seven-week high. The largest increases were in California and Pennsylvania. The four-week moving average moved higher by 6,000 to 220,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.jobless claims rose 11,000 once again this week to 234,000, a seven-week high. The largest increases were in California and Pennsylvania. The four-week moving average moved higher by 6,000 to 220,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • Sales of new single family homes declined by 1.5% in April to a seasonally adjusted rate of 662,000 units, below expectations of 680,000. The prior 3 months were revised lower by a net 41,000.
  • New orders for durable goods declined by 1.7% in April versus expectations of a 1.3% drop led by defense aircraft orders.
    • Durable goods ex-transports rose 0.9% versus expectations of a 0.5% increase.
  • Core capital goods rose 1.0% in April, exceeding expectations of a 0.7% increase.
  • The University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell by 0.8 points versus expectations of an unchanged reading.

Fact of the Week

  • In 1954, economist Armen Alchian was able to figure out the secret materials being used to create the hydrogen bomb. While working at RAND, Alchian observed the stock performance of many different marterials companies, and noticed that the Lithium Corp. of America had significantly outperformed other material names in the six months leading up to the successful test of the H-bomb. Alchian wrote an internal memo at RAND announcing his discovery, and was told to withdraw the memo two days after its publication. (Source: Library of Economics and Liberty)

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

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

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Korea, Iran: Wealth Economic Update May 21, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • radiation-856884068_380After witnessing ongoing joint military drills between South Korea and the United States, North Korea has cancelled planned discussions with South Korea and threatened to cancel the scheduled meeting with the United States on June 12th. Kim Jong-un expressed displeasure with having to unilaterally abandon its nuclear program. Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan stated “If the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the North Korea-U.S. summit”. The United States has stated that it continues to plan for the scheduled meeting on June 12th.
  • UAE Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui stated that OPEC has the ability to produce enough oil to cushion oil prices if the United States re-imposes sanctions on Iran. The Energy Minister told reporters that OPEC is familiar with situations like these and there is no reason to worry about supply. The IEA cut its global demand growth for oil to 1.4 million barrels per day in 2018, lower than a previous estimate of 1.5 million barrels per day.

Markets

  • The markets ended the week slightly lower. The S&P 500 fell 47% this week and closed at 2,712.97. The Dow Jones lost 0.36% and closed at 24,715.09. Year to date, the S&P is up 2.24% and the Dow Jones is up 0.89%.
  • Yields moved higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 89% and 3.06%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose 89% this week and closed at $71.33 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 18.66%.
  • The spot price of Gold decreased by 05%, closing at $1,292.29 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down -0.81%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose 11,000 to 222,000 for the week. The largest increases were in Missouri, Kentucky, and California. The four-week moving average moved lower 3,000 to 213,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index rose by 11.2 points in May to 34.4 versus expectations of 21.0.
    • The  new orders component rose 22.2 points to 40.6 to the highest level since 1973.
  • Housing starts fell by 3.7% in April to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,287k which was below expectations of a -0.7% decline. The decline was led by the multi-family category while single family homes moved higher by 0.1%.
    • The largest  declines were in the Northeast and Midwest , reflecting unseasonable weather.
  • Building permits fell 1.8% in April to an annualized rate of 1,352k in April compared to expectations of a 2.1% decline.
  • Industrial production rose 0.7% in April versus expectations of a 0.6% increase. Industrial production was led by utilities and mining output in April.
  • Retail sales rose by 0.3% in April, matching expectations. The figure was led higher by an increase at gas stations.
    • Retail sales ex-autos rose 0.3% in April versus expectations of a 0.5% increase.

Fact of the Week

  • The royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is estimated to cost around $45.8 million. This is well over 1000 times the cost of the average marriage in the US and UK at $34,000. Almost all of the $45.8 million budget is for security, which is estimated to cost $43 million. (Source: Business Insider)

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

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.

Iran, CA Solar Homes, Korean Hostages: Wealth Economic Update May 11, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • The United States has withdrawn from the nuclear deal with Iran, sending the price of crude oil up over 3% to $71 a barrel. President Trump announced that he will impose the “highest level” of sanctions on Iran starting August 6th which would include restrictions on exports of airplanes and parts, dollar transactions, trade in gold and other metals, sovereign debt and the auto industry. On November 4th, additional sanctions will include a ban on oil purchases and transactions with the central bank. The withdrawal from the deal has been condemned by European countries, particularly France whose Foreign Minister said European companies should not have to pay for the US decision. Iran is now calling on Airbus, a plane manufacturer based in Europe, to continue to sell it planes.
  • solar-687096836_370California has voted unanimously to require that nearly all new homes and residential buildings smaller than four stories built after January 1st 2020 have solar panels. This is estimated to add between $8,000 and $12,000 to building a home. The CEC also estimated that mortgages will increase on average by $40 per month and savings on utility bills will be $80 per month.
  • Three Americans that were held as prisoners in North Korea for months were returned to the United States this week with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un will take place on June 12th in Singapore. The location of Singapore symbolizes the desire to no longer utilize South Korea as an intermediary between the United States and North Korea, and also is a big step for Kim Jong Un to gain credibility as a leader.

Markets

  • AThe markets surged higher this week. The S&P 500, rose 2.49% this week and closed at 2,727.72. The Dow Jones rose 2.51% and closed at 24,831.17. Year to date, the S&P is up 2.71% and the Dow Jones is up 1.26%.
  • Yields rose higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.84% and 2.97%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose this week by 1.23% and closed at $70.58 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 17.42%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose this week by 0.35%, closing at $1,319.04 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 1.25%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims were flat at 211,000 for the week. The largest increase was in Ohio and the largest decline was in Wisconsin. The four-week moving average moved down 5,000 to 216,000, a 49 year low. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.22% in April versus expectations of a 0.3% increase and the year-over-year rate remains unchanged at 2.1%. The increase was led by a rise in energy prices.
    • Core CPI (ex-food and energy) rose 0.1% in April versus expectations of a 0.2% increase.
  • The producer price index (PPI) rose 0.1% in April, below expectations of a 0.2% rise. The figure was held lower due to a 1.1% decline in food prices.
    • PPI ex-food and energy rose 0.2% in April, in line with expectations.
  • In the University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment May preliminary report, the index was unchanged at 98.8 versus expectations of a modest decline.

Fact of the Week

  • The individual stock that was the top performing stock within the S&P 500 YTD through 4/30/18 with a gain of +62.8% was also ranked as the #1 stock within the index for all of calendar year 2013 and again in calendar year 2015. But the stock was also ranked #430 in 2014 and #278 in 2016 (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, 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.

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.

Markets

  • 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

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.

North Korea, Japan, Cuba: Wealth Economic Update Apr. 20, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • KOREA-652900206_360Japan’s Shinzo Abe traveled to Mar-a-Lago to meet with President Trump on Tuesday to discuss trade and a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Japan wanted to discuss the United States renewed interest in re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the possibility of Japan’s inclusion in the exemption of steel and aluminum tariffs with other United States allies. Japan was also concerned that they may have been excluded from nuclear negotiations with North Korea after President Trump made a decision to meet with Kim Jong-un without first conferring with Shinzo Abe. The two-day summit concluded with no deal being reached on the TPP, no exemption for Japan on the steel and aluminum tariffs, and a stronger agreement between the two leaders on North Korea.
  • After more than 60 years of Castro leadership in Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel was elected the next president of Cuba, a widely expected result. On Thursday, Raul Castro announced that he is stepping down and Diaz-Canel was elected after 603 out of the 604-member National Assembly had approved of him. Raul Castro will remain head of the country’s Communist Party until the next scheduled party congress in 2021. Miguel Diaz-Canel stated that he will reform the economy to improve the communication between the government and the people while preserving Cuba’s communist system.

Markets

  • The markets finished higher this week. The S&P 500 rose 0.54% and closed at 2,670.14. The Dow Jones rose 0.46% and closed at 24,462.94. Year to date, the S&P is up 0.45% and the Dow Jones is down 0.40%.
  • Yields moved much higher for yet another week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.80% and 2.96%, respectively. The 10-year Treasury yield hit its highest level since 2014.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose again this week by 1.15% and closed at $68.10 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 13.29%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell this week by 0.76%, closing at $1,335.96 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 2.55%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims declined 1,000 to 232,000 for the week. The largest declines were in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The four-week moving average moved up 1,000 to 231,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index moved higher by 0.9 points to 23.2 vs consensus expectations of 21.0. The increase was led by the employment component and the average workweek component.
  • Retail sales increased by 0.6% in March versus expectations of a 0.4% increase. The increase was led by auto sales and slightly held back by falling gasoline prices.
    • Retail sales ex-autos increased 0.2% versus a median forecast of 0.2%
    • Retail sales ex-autos, gasoline, and building materials increased 0.4% versus a median forecast of 0.4%
  • Housing starts rose 1.9% in March to 1,319k, short of expectations of a 2.5% increase. The rise was driven by multi-family starts.
    • Building permits rose by 2.5% month-over-month in March to an annualized rate of 1,354k compared to a median forecast of an unchanged month-over-month figure.

Fact of the Week

  • Marijuana sales in Colorado generated $506 million in tax revenue for the state, through June 2017. In 2014, the first year it was legalized, the state generated $76 million in tax revenue from marijuana, nearly double the $42 million that was generated from alcohol sales in the state. The deficit in Illinois is $148 billion as of 4/20/18. (CNN Money, US Debt Clock).

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

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.