Syria, China, Oil: Wealth Economic Update Apr. 13, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • On Sunday, President Bashar Assad of Syria allegedly launched another chemical attack on his people, killing 49 people, including women and children. President Trump stated in a tweet that “President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay”. The United States has warned Russia that all options are on the table for a military response in Syria, a move that the United States’ allies fully support. British submarines were ordered to move within striking distance of Syria as the possibility of military response to Syria is imminent. After Russia warned against the plan of the United States and their allies launching a military strike in Syria, this morning, Russia’s foreign minister claimed that the alleged chemical attack was staged by an unknown foreign intelligence agency.
  • President Xi Jinping of China revealed at the Boao Forum for Asia on Monday night that he plans to further open up the China economy, significantly lower import tariffs, and improve the investment environment for foreign companies. This morning, China reported its first trade deficit in over a year amid trade tensions between China and the United States. The falling exports are estimated to be a result of seasonal factors such as the China New Year holiday.
  • The price of Crude oil has risen dramatically as a result of increased tension in the middle east and is having an effect on gasoline prices. The U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed that the average regular retail gas prices reached $2.70/gallon last week; this is the highest level of gasoline prices in three years.

Markets

  • The markets rallied this week as volatility continues. The S&P 500 rose 2.04% and closed at 2,656.30. The Dow Jones rose 1.80% and closed at 24,360.14. Year to date, the S&P is down 0.09% and the Dow Jones is down 0.86%.
  • Yields moved higher again this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.67% and 2.82%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil had a big week rising 8.51% and closing at $61.92 per barrel for the week as tensions in the middle east ratchet higher. Year to date, Oil prices are up 12.05%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose slightly higher this week by 0.92%, closing at $1,345.28 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 3.26%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell 9,000 to 233,000 for the week. The largest declines were in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The four-week moving average moved up 2,000 to 230,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • Import prices were unchanged in March versus expectations of a 0.1% increase. The flat reading in March is a result of a 1.6% drop in fuel prices and a 0.2% increase in import prices ex fuels.
  • The producer price index (PPI) rose 0.3% in March exceeding expectations of a 0.1% gain as the drop in fuel prices was largely offset by an increase in core producer price inflation, food, and trade services.
    • PPI ex-food and energy rose 0.3% in March versus expectations of a 0.2% increase.
    • PPI ex-food and energy and trade services rose 0.4% versus expectations of a 0.2% increase.

     

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.06% in March exceeding expectations of a drop of 0.09% reflecting a fall in gasoline prices slightly offset by an increase in food prices.
    • Core CPI (ex- food and energy) rose 0.18% in March meeting expectations of a 0.2% increase.
    • The year-over-year Core CPI rate also came in at 2.12% meeting expectations of 2.1%.
  • The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment fell 3.6 points to 97.8 points in the April preliminary report. The drop is related to concerns over the potential impact of proposed trade policies.

Fact of the Week

  • 94.5% of home mortgages (by number, not by dollar) are “current and performing” as of 12/31/2017. Just 2.4% of home mortgages were “seriously delinquent” (defined as 60 days or more past due) as of 12/31/2017 (source: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency).

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.

China, Tariffs: Wealth Economic Update Apr. 6, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • The trade negotiation between the United States and China has gained popularity in the news this week as new tariffs are announced by either side seemingly every day. Both sides appear to be playing a game of chicken as it relates to trade; on Monday, China implemented tariffs of 25% on 128 U.S products totaling $3 billion in response to the United States recently imposed steel and aluminum tariffs. The United States quickly retaliated on Wednesday with an additional $50 billion worth of 25% tariffs on 1,300 Chinese products to which China responded with tariffs on 106 more U.S products totaling $50 billion on products such as cars, whiskey, and soybeans. Thursday evening President Trump announced that he had told the U.S trade representative to look into whether $100 billion in additional tariffs would be appropriate. China ambassador Cui Tiankai discussed the United States levying further tariffs on Chinese products in an interview Monday stating “If they do, we will certainly take countermeasures of the same proportion, and the same scale, same intensity”.

Markets

  • The markets sold off this week, prolonging the ongoing correction. The S&P 500 lost 1.35% and closed at 2,604.47. The Dow Jones fared slightly better losing 0.67% and closed at 23,932.76. Year to date, the S&P is down 2.08% and the Dow Jones is down 2.60%.
  • Yields moved higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 59% and 2.77%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil decreased by 65% this week, closing at $61.92 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 3.01%.
  • The spot price of Gold rose slightly higher this week by 57%, closing at $1,333.03 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 2.32%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose 24,000 to 242,000 for the week which was larger-than-expected. The largest increases were in California, New York, and Pennsylvania. The four-week moving average moved up 3,000 to 228,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • The ISM manufacturing index fell 1.5 points to 59.3 in March versus expectations of 59.7. The decline in employment and new orders led the decline for the month, however the pace of manufacturing growth remains very strong
  • Construction spending rose 0.1% in February versus expectations of a 0.4% increase and the decline was led by public construction spending as opposed to private construction spending.
  • Private Sector ADP employment rose 241,000 in March exceeding expectations of a 210,000 gain. The gain in private sector employment was led by professional and business services and trade, transportation, and utilities.
  • Nonfarm payrolls came in at 103,000 for the month of March below consensus expectations of 185,000. The weakness in job growth for the month of March is believed to be the result of severe winter weather.
    • Average hourly earnings rose by 0.30% in March and the year-over-year rate rose 0.1% to 2.7%.
    • The unemployment rate remained at 4.1% versus expectations of a decline to 4.0%.

 

Fact of the Week

  • The US bond market (including treasury, municipal, corporate, mortgage and asset-backed debt) was worth $40.8 trillion as of 12/31/17. The US bond market was worth $4.1 trillion as of 12/31/85 (Source: Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association).

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.

China, Korea, Tariffs: Wealth Economic Update Apr. 2, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • semiconductor-179653150_360The Trump administration sent a letter with specific requests to help reduce China’s trade surplus with the U.S. to Chinese economic overseer Liu He. These requests include a tariff cut on U.S. automobiles, more Chinese purchases of U.S. semiconductors and greater access to China’s financial sector by American companies. A list of retaliatory tariffs on a large number of major imports to China are to be announced soon.
  • After revising its six-year-old bilateral trade deal with the U.S., South Korea is next to escape President Trump’s metal tariffs.  Seoul will double its import quota for American-made cars and decrease the amount of steel sent to the United States. South Korea will also allow the United States to keep the 25% tariffs on pickup trucks in place for 20 more years.
  • In more than a decade North and South Korea will hold their first Summit on April 27th, after Kim Jong-un pledged his commitment to denuclearization.  The summit will be on the southern side of the Demilitarized Zone.
  • During a  meeting with President Xi in Beijing, Kim Jung-un agreed to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.  Since he assumed power in 2011, this is Kim’s first known trip abroad.  It is believed by analysts as preparation for upcoming summits with South Korea and the U.S.  Kim is scheduled to meet President Trump sometime in May.

Markets

  • The markets rebounded this week. The S&P 500 gained 05% and closed at 2,640.87. The Dow Jones followed suit by also gaining 2.42% and closed at 24,103.11. Year to date, the S&P is down 0.75% and the Dow Jones is down 1.95%.
  • Yields moved lower this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 56% and 2.74%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil decreased by 43% this week, closing at $64.94 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 8.04%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell this week by 62%, closing at $1,325.48 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 1.74%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims dropped to a new 49-year low of 215,000, a decrease of 12,000. The largest decreases were in California, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia. The four-week moving average remained stable at 225,000.
  • GDP grew to 2.9% reflecting a moderately faster pace of consumption growth.
  • Merchant Wholesale inventories rose 1.1% in February.
  • Pending home sales are up 3.1% in February which is slightly more than expected.  Sales were led by the Northeast and the South regions.  Pending home sales are still 4.1% lower than a year ago.

Fact of the Week

  • American oil producers have pumped at least 10 million barrels a day of crude oil for the last 7 weeks, hitting 10.407 million barrels per day or the week ending Friday 3/16/18.  The last time US oil producers hit 10 million barrels a day of crude oil was in 1970. (source: Energy Information Administration).

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.

China, Budget: Wealth Economic Update Mar. 23, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • The trade negotiations heated up this week as the newly imposed steel and aluminum tariffs come closer to taking effect. China continues to be the main target after an investigation into their practices revealed evidence of unfair terms on U.S. companies and foreign ownership restrictions. The United States filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over allegations that China is breaking WTO rules by denying basic patent rights that would stop Chinese entities from eventually using the technology of foreign patent holders. China responded on Thursday evening by revealing a specific list of 128 U.S goods that they plan to tariff in two steps. The plan includes a 15% tariff on 120 goods totaling $1 billion and a 25% tariff on eight goods totaling $2 billion.
  • self-driving-829192480_360Early this morning, the Senate passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill that would fund the government until September 30th, putting an end to the fuss about a potential government shutdown. The bill includes an increase in defense spending of $80 billion, domestic spending of $63 billion, $1.6 billion to fund a border wall with Mexico, and $100 million for research and testing of autonomous cars. Before President Trump signed the bill, he threatened to veto it citing lack of funding for the border wall with Mexico and no consideration for undocumented immigrants.

Markets

  • The markets experienced another selloff this week. The S&P 500 plummeted 93% and closed at 2,588.26. The Dow Jones also experienced a sharp decline this week losing 5.67% and closed at 23,533.20. Year to date, the S&P is down 2.74% and the Dow Jones is down 4.25%.
  • Yields moved lower this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 60% and 2.81%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose 70% this week, closing at $65.97 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 9.75%.
  • The spot price of Gold moved higher this week gaining 55%, closing at $1,347.80 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 3.45%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 3,000 from last week, coming in at 229,000. The four-week moving average moved slightly higher to 224,000. Layoffs remain at a very low pace and continue to fall further.
  • Existing home sales increased by 3.0% in February to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.54 million units, beating expectations of a 0.4% increase. Sales in the West largely contributed to the increase.
  • Sales of new single-family homes fell 0.6% in February to a seasonally adjusted rate of 618,000 units slightly missing expectations of a 620,000 increase.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the Fed Funds rate by 0.25% to a range of 1.50-1.75% in a widely expected move on Wednesday. The meeting had a more hawkish tone than expected, signaling 8 cumulative hikes in 2018-2020 when 6.75 were previously expected. The Fed now expects inflation to rebound in “the coming months” as opposed to “this year”.
  • Durable goods orders rose 3.1% in the month of February, beating expectations of a 1.6% increase. Durable goods orders continue to trend higher and a 25.5% increase in aircraft orders contributed to much of the increase.

Fact of the Week

  • As of last Friday (3/16/18), no US bank had failed YTD and required a financial bailout from the FDIC. This is the latest in any calendar year with no bank failures YTD since 2006, the last year in which no bank failures occurred during the entire year. Over the last 5 calendar years (2013-17), 63 banks failed in the United States, an average of 13 per year (source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).

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.

Kudlow, Japan/EU: Wealth Economic Update Mar. 19, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • economics_telescope-687981332_360CNBC Commentator Larry Kudlow has accepted the role of Chief Economic Advisor to President Trump after the departure of Gary Cohn amidst conflicting opinions on steel and aluminum tariffs. Larry Kudlow will first be tasked with negotiating the issue on tariffs while being particularly tough on China and he stated on Wednesday, “China can expect the U.S. to take a tough stance when it comes to international trade.” Larry Kudlow has been known to dislike tariffs and disagree with the President on this issue, however, after learning of the Canada and Mexico exemptions he has softened his view stating “I must say as somebody who doesn’t like tariffs, I think that China has earned a tough response not only from the United States.”
  • Japan and the European Union have pressured the United States to exempt them from the new steel and aluminum tariffs during a meeting in Brussels on Saturday. This was expected to come up as the United States has left further exemptions up for discussion after signing into law the new tariffs last week. The three countries agreed to take joint steps to combat steel overcapacity and attempt to regulate market prices with stronger subsidy rules.

Markets

  • Markets ended the week lower. The S&P 500 lost 20% and closed at 2,752.01. The Dow Jones also fell by 1.51% and closed at 24,946.51. Year to date, the S&P is up 3.37% and the Dow Jones is up 1.46%.
  • Yields were once again relatively unchanged this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 64% and 2.84%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose 24% this week, closing at $62.19 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 3.48%.
  • The spot price of Gold was down for the week losing 77%, closing at $1,313.70 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 0.84%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 4,000 from last week, coming in at 226,000. The four-week moving average was unchanged at 222,000. Layoffs remain at a very low pace and continue to fall further.
  • The Consumer Price Index rose by 0.15% in February, slightly below expectations of 0.2%. The rise in February was mostly influenced by rising energy prices and the year-over-year rate remained at 1.8%.
  • The Producer Price Index rose by 0.2% in the month of February driven by core producer price inflation. This was higher than expectations of a 0.1% increase and the year-over-year rate stands at 2.9%.
  • Retail Sales declined by 0.1% in February coming in short of expectations of a 0.3% increase and the previous two months were revised down slightly.
  • Housing starts declined by -7% in February to 1,236, below consensus expectations of a -2.7% decrease. The decline of housing starts in the west largely contributed to the February figure.

 

Fact of the Week

  • Just 2.2% of the banks and savings institutions in the United States hold 83% of the deposits maintained in FDIC-insured institutions nationwide as of 12/31/17. There are a total of 5,670 banks and savings institutions holdings $17.4 trillion of deposits as of the end of last year (Source: FDIC).

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.

Steel, North Korea: Wealth Economic Update Mar. 9, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • After more than 100 House Republicans had signed a letter to President Trump objecting the proposed steel and aluminum tariffs, the President signed an order imposing a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum excluding Canada and Mexico. Canada, the United States biggest source of aluminum and steel, threatened to reciprocate the trade tariffs if they were included. The order was much less aggressive than originally intended after some drama in the White House which included Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn resigning over a dispute with President Trump over the planned tariffs. The order also includes the potential for other nations to be reduced to a lower rate down the road.
  • north_korea-672521128_360North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited President Trump to meet and discuss denuclearization on the heels of some of the toughest sanctions placed on North Korea by the United States. Kim Jong-un stated that North Korea would suspend missile tests while talks are ongoing. President Trump responded by saying he would meet by May and the time and place of the meeting is to be determined.

Markets

  • Markets surged higher this week. The S&P 500 soared 59% and closed at 2,786.57. The Dow Jones also rose higher by 3.01% and closing at 25,335.74. Year to date, the S&P is up 4.62% and the Dow Jones is up 3.01%.
  • Yields held relatively steady this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 65% and 2.90%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose 39% this week, closing at $62.10 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 2.81%.
  • The spot price of Gold was unchanged for the week increasing by just 06% this week, closing at $1,323.58 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 1.60%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims increased 21,000 from last week, coming in at 231,000. The four-week moving average moved up to 223,000. Layoffs remain at a very low pace and continue to fall further.
  • Nonfarm payrolls rose 313,000 in the month of February, soaring past consensus expectations of 108,000.
  • Average hourly earnings rose 0.1% which was lower than the consensus estimates of 0.2%. Previous months were revised lower, bringing the year-over-year rate down to 2.6% from 2.9%.
  • The unemployment rate remained at 4.1%.

Fact of the Week

  • There are currently 1,510 cryptocurrencies in the world with a market capitalization of 392 billion. About 1,000 users control 40% of the cryptocurrency. (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
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

Non-deposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC; not a deposit of, or guaranteed by, the bank; may lose value.

Fed summit: Wealth Economic Update Aug 25, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • Monetary policymakers from around the world have gathered in Jacksonjackson-hole-507309204_360 Hole, Wyoming for the Federal Reserve’s annual summit on economic policy. Janet Yellen, possibly on her last trip to Jackson Hole as Fed Chair, delivered a speech on past and prospective reforms to the financial system but did not offer any additional details regarding the future path of Fed rate hikes or balance sheet reduction. Also in focus will be European Central Bank Chair Mario Draghi who may offer clues as to when the ECB will begin to taper their Quantitative Easing program.

Markets

  • Markets bounced back this week following consecutive weeks of declines. The S&P 500 gained 0.75% and closed at 2,443. The Dow Jones rose 0.71% for the week and closed at 21,814. Year to date, the S&P is up 10.54% and the Dow is up 12.14%.
  • Interest rates ended the week relatively unchanged. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.76% and 2.17%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil decreased by 1.46% this week, closing at $47.80 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 11.02%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week higher by 0.55%, closing at $1,291.13 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 12.52%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 2,000 from last week, coming in at 234,000. The Labor Department noted no factors affecting the data this week. The four week moving average for claims moved down to 238,000.
  • New home sales declined by 9.4% in July, disappointing compared to consensus estimates. The July weakness was fairly broad-based with only the Midwest (+4k) seeing an increase versus declines in the Northwest (-10k), South (-14k) and the West (-39k).
  • Existing home sales declined -1.3% in July, lower than expectations of a 0.5% increase. The regional data were mixed with increases in the West (+5.0%) and South (+2.2%) and decreases in the Midwest (-5.3%) and Northeast (-14.5%).

Fact of the Week

  • The average interest rate paid by the U.S. government on its interest bearing debt was 2.28% as of 7/31. The average interest rate that the government was paying on its debt 10 years ago was 5.04%, or more than double what it is now. Every 1% increase in the cost of debt on our country’s $14.4 trillion of debt is equal to $144 billion of additional annual interest expense. (Source: Treasury Department)

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

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Steve Meves, CFA® – (630) 801-2217 – smeves@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

Non-deposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC; not a deposit of, or guaranteed by, the bank; may lose value.

Charlottesville, Bannon, Fed: Wealth Economic Update Aug 18, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • iStock-137169606_360In the wake of President Trump’s response to the violent and deadly acts at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, many high profile CEOs began resigning from Trump’s Manufacturing Council. President Trump originally responded to the first resignations by tweeting, “For every CEO that drops out, I have many to take their place.” However, as the resignations began to mount, the Manufacturing Council as well as the Strategic and Policy Forum were disbanded as more and more CEOs refused to be associated with this administration. In addition to the CEOs that have abandoned ship, famed investor Carl Icahn stepped down as a special advisor to the President late Friday afternoon.
  • Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon has left his duties at the White House, though the nature of his departure remains unclear. A person close to Bannon said that the strategist had submitted his resignation on August 7, but the announcement was delayed after the violence that occurred at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12. Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange audibly cheered when the news broke, reflecting the views on many on Wall Street. Stock markets initially rose on the news before fading late in the day as traders may think that with Bannon’s ouster and Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn remaining on the staff, the prospects of passing a budget and getting tax reform improve.
  • Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting were released this week and showed that policymakers are divided over the timeline for future rate hikes. While some members appeared wary about the recent weak inflation figures, others were more eager to have an additional rate increase sometime in 2017. The minutes also seemed to indicate that an announcement regarding the reduction of the Fed’s balance sheet could occur at the September meeting. The market is currently pricing in a 35% probability of an additional rate hike this year.

Markets

  • Markets fell this again this week following a rally on Monday. The S&P 500 dropped 0.58% and closed at 2,426. The Dow Jones fell 0.77% for the week and closed at 21,675. Year to date, the S&P is up 9.73% and the Dow is up 11.36%.
  • Interest rates ended the week relatively unchanged. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.76% and 2.20%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil decreased by 0.28% this week, closing at $48.68 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 9.45%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week lower by 0.32%, closing at $1,289.30 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 12.00%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell by 12,000 from last week, coming in at 232,000. The Labor Department noted no factors affecting the data this week. The four week moving average for claims remained at 241,000.
  • Housing starts declined -4.8% in July, lower than the median forecast of a 0.4% increase. The volatile multi-family category led the decline (-15.3%), while the more stable single family starts figure dropped -0.5%. Starts declined in the Northeast (-15.7%), Midwest (-15.2%) and West (-1.6%) but edged up in the South (+0.6%).
  • The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose 4.2 points to 97.6 in the preliminary August report, rebounding from declines in June and July. Although the survey’s current conditions index dipped, the expectations for the future component had the largest jump in four years.

Fact of the Week

  • Of the 8.56 million new households formed in the last 10 years, 95% of them (8.13 million) were comprised of families that are renting. (Source: Census Bureau)

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

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Steve Meves, CFA® – (630) 801-2217 – smeves@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

Non-deposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC; not a deposit of, or guaranteed by, the bank; may lose value.

Climate, Illinois downgraded: Wealth Economic Update June 3, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • weather-171576532_360President Trump has announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. The landmark 2015 agreement between 195 nations aimed at fighting climate change and promoting clean energy, however Trump has been staunchly against the deal as he feels that it puts America at an economic disadvantage compared to many of the other countries in the agreement. While according to the language of the agreement makes it so the U.S. can’t officially withdraw until 2020, the administration says they will simply not enforce any of the provisions of the deal until that time. Trump added that the U.S. could begin negotiations to re-enter the Paris accord down the road or “a new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
  • Standard and Poor’s has downgraded the debt rating of the State of Illinois down to BBB- from BBB, one notch above ‘Junk’ status. This was the third downgrade of Illinois’ debt by S&P in the past year. Illinois is by far the lowest rated state and it is the only state that S&P has in the BBB tier and indications are that the rating could fall further in what was described as a ‘negative credit spiral’. Gabriel Patek of S&P noted, “If lawmakers fail to reach agreement on a budget with provisions designed to reduce the state’s structural deficit, it’s likely we will again lower the ratings.”

Markets

  • Markets ended the week on a positive note. The S&P 500 rose by 1.01% and closed at 2,430. The Dow Jones gained 0.69% for the week and closed at 21,144. Year to date, the S&P is up 9.87% and the Dow is up 8.48%.
  • Interest rates edged higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.72% and 2.16%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil lost 4.14% this week, closing at $47.74 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 11.13%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week higher, closing at $1,279.17 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 11.47%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims increased by 10,000 from last week, coming in at 248,000. Most of the increases in claims were attributed to California and Tennessee. The four week moving average for claims ticked up to 238,000.
  • The Headline PCE index (measure of inflation) rose 0.2% in April, in line with expectations. Over the last year, PCE inflation has risen 1.7%.
    • Core PCE (excludes food and energy, preferred inflation measure of the Federal Reserve) rose by 0.15% in April, slightly better than expectations of 0.1%. Core PCE has risen 1.5% over the last 12 months.
  • The Case Shiller home price index rose by 0.9% in April, in line with expectations. Prices rose in all 20 cities measured with Minneapolis (+1.3%), Detroit (+1.2%), Seattle (+1.1%) and New York (+1.1%) showing the largest monthly increases. Over the last 12 months, home prices as measured by the index have risen 5.9%.

Fact of the Week

  • Apple (AAPL) reported cash and cash equivalents of $256.8B at the end of Q1. That is enough cash to purchase any company held in the S&P 500, outside of the top 10 holdings. Alternatively, Apple could purchase all of the bottom 45 companies held in the S&P 500. (Based on Market Capitalization)

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

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Steve Meves, CFA® – (630) 801-2217 – smeves@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

Non-deposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC; not a deposit of, or guaranteed by, the bank; may lose value.

OPEC, Budget, Manchester: Wealth Economic Update May 29, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • oil-518901244The OPEC meeting on Thursday concluded with an agreement to extend oil production cuts for an additional nine months, however crude oil prices fell sharply on the day despite the positive result as expectations were high after OPEC displayed unusual optimism prior to the meeting. Iraq was surprisingly in support of the production cuts as they have been one of the more hesitant OPEC members to favor production cuts in the past. There still remain OPEC members that will not be required to comply with the extension cap such as Libya, Iran, and Nigeria.
  • President Trump has submitted a budget proposal that aims to cut $3.6 trillion in spending over the next ten years which includes cutting Medicaid and other social programs. The budget entails a $4.1 trillion spending allowance in 2018 which includes defense, border security, and infrastructure.
  • The U.K.’s terror threat level was raised to “critical” after an explosion following the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England killed 22 people and injured 59. Salman Abedi is the name of the man believed to be responsible for the attack and Prime Minister Theresa May raised the U.K. threat level to its maximum level of “critical” implying that another attack is potentially imminent.

Markets

  • Markets ended the week on a positive note. The S&P 500 rose by 1.47% and closed at 2,416. The Dow Jones gained 1.35% for the week and closed at 21,080. Year to date, the S&P is up 8.78% and the Dow is up 7.75%.
  • Interest rates edged higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.79% and 2.25%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil lost 1.74% this week, closing at $49.79 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 7.32%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week higher, closing at $1,267.14 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 10.43%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims increased by 1,000 from last week, coming in at 234,000. Most of the increases in claims were attributed to California and Michigan. The four week moving average for claims dropped to 235,000.
  • Sales of new single-family homes fell 11.4% in April reaching a four-month low, however, new home sales in the prior three months were all revised upwards. The decline in April was largely attributed to new single-family home sales in the West.
  • Existing home sales fell 2.3% in April, but still remains at a March cycle-high. Existing sales of single-family units fell by 2.4%, while sales of condos declined by 1.6%. Existing home sales decreased in the South, West, and Northeast, but increased in the Midwest region.
    • The recent loss of momentum in the housing market and existing home sales is believed to be the negative affect from higher mortgage rates.
  • During the May Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Thursday, the Fed concluded that “it would soon be appropriate” for another rate hike. There is an 80% probability of a rate hike in June and another hike is expected in September. The Fed also noted that the weak Q1 GDP figure was likely transitory.

Fact of the Week

  • There was approximately $1.54 trillion in circulation as of April 5, 2017, of which $1.49 trillion was in Federal Reserve notes (Dollars). (Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.)

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

Rich Gartelmann CFP® – (630) 844-5730 rgartelmann@oldsecond.com
Steve Meves, CFA® – (630) 801-2217 – smeves@oldsecond.com
Brad Johnson CFA®, CFP® – (630) 906-5545 bjohnson@oldsecond.com
Joel Binder, SVP – (630) 844-6767 jbinder@oldsecond.com
Jacqueline Runnberg CFP® – (630) 966-2462 jrunnberg@oldsecond.com
Ed Gorenz, VP – (630) 906-5467 ejgorenz@oldsecond.com

Visit Old Second Wealth Management

Non-deposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC; not a deposit of, or guaranteed by, the bank; may lose value.