US-North Korea relations, China tariffs, California split: Wealth Economic Update June 15, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • US-NK-830925980_380On Tuesday night, the United States and North Korea signed a historic document that included establishment of new US-DPRK relations, building a lasting and stable peace regime, reaffirming commitments to work toward complete denuclearization and recovering POW/MIA remains. The United States will keep in place its tough sanctions on North Korea and keep U.S military forces on the Korean peninsula until there is a complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of the nuclear weapons program. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the United States would resume joint military exercises with South Korea if the talks stall.
  • The United States announced today that it will move forward with $50 billion in tariffs on a range of Chinese products, $34 billion of that amount going into effect on July 6th. Shortly afterwards, China responded stating, “We will immediately introduce taxation measures of the same scale and with the same intensity”. The imposed tariffs do not include commonly purchased goods by Americans such as cell phones and TV’s. This was announced following months of trade negotiations between the two countries.
  • The plan to split California into three separate states, also known as the Cal3 initiative, has gained enough votes to make it onto the November 6th ballot. The new states would be named North California, California, and South California. Political experts say that Congress is unlikely to approve this plan.

Markets

  • After rising for much of the beginning of June, the markets fell slightly this week. The S&P 500 gained 0.06% this week and closed at 2,779.42. The Dow Jones fell 0.84% and closed at 25,090.48. Year to date, the S&P is up 4.89% and the Dow Jones is up 2.61%.
  • Yields were mixed this week with shorter term yields rising more than longer term yields (yield curve flattening) after the FOMC raised the fed funds rate. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.80% and 2.92%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell 1.81% this week and closed at $64.55 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 7.39%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 1.39% this week, closing at $1,280.13 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down 1.74%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell 4,000 this week to 218,000. The largest declines were in California and Florida. The four-week moving average moved lower by 1,000 to 224,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • Retail sales rose by 0.8% in May versus consensus expectations of a 0.4% increase. The increase reflects an increase in gas station sales and an increase in auto sales. The largest increases were from miscellaneous retailers and building materials and supply dealers.
  • Import prices rose 0.6% in May versus consensus expectations of a 0.5% increase. The increase reflects an increase in fuel prices.
  • The consumer price index (CPI) increased by 0.21% in May versus expectations of a 0.2% increase. The increase largely reflected a rise in energy prices. The year-over-year rate rose 0.1% to 2.2%
    • Core CPI (ex-food and energy) rose by 0.17% in May versus expectations of a 0.2% increase.
  • The producer price index (PPI) rose by 0.5% in May versus expectations of a 0.3% increase. The increase reflects higher energy prices and higher retailer margins.
    • PPI (ex-food and energy) rose by 0.3% in May versus consensus expectations of a 0.2% increase.
  • Industrial Production fell 0.1% in May versus expectations of a 0.2% increase. The decline was led by a sharp drop in motor vehicle output.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee raised the target policy rate range to 1.75-2% on Wednesday. The meeting had a hawkish tone versus what expectations were and rate hike projections were increased to 4 this year, 3 next year, and 1 in 2020. The previous estimate was 3 this year, 3 next year, and 2 in 2020.

Fact of the Week

  • 22% of Americans at least age 85 need help with “personal care” daily. The number of Americans at least age 85 is projected to more than double from 6.4 million in 2016 to 14.6 million in 2040 (source: Administration for Community Living).

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

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China tariffs, Social security, Dimon & Buffett: Wealth Economic Update June 8, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • SHANGHAI-623208766_360The White House plans to move ahead with its goal of reducing the trade deficit with China by $200 billion by introducing trade tariffs by June 15th. In May, China’s trade surplus with the United States rose by 11.7% in the midst of tense trade negotiations, which is expected to increase Washington’s efforts with regard to trade with China. Trade tensions eased on Thursday after the U.S. decided to end the ban on Chinese company ZTE Corp’s ability to access U.S. companies.
  • Social Security will have to reach into its $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits for the first time in 36 years. Income to fund these benefits comes from tax revenue and interest earned off of the trust fund. The program was not expected to tap into its trust fund for another three years, but as a result of economic projections, it was forced to do so sooner. The Trustees Report projects the trust fund balance will run out in 2034.
  • JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and renowned billionaire investor Warren Buffett are forming a joint effort to convince public company CEO’s to stop providing quarterly earnings-per-share guidance. They stated that “It leads to an unhealthy focus on short-term profits at the expense of long-term strategy, growth, and sustainability”. Another point made was that as a result, corporations “frequently hold back on technology spending, hiring, and research and development” in order to meet guided earnings estimates.

Markets

  • The markets surged higher this week. The S&P 500 gained 1.66% this week and closed at 2,779.03. The Dow Jones rose 2.79% and closed at 25,316.53. Year to date, the S&P is up 4.82% and the Dow Jones is up 3.47%.
  • Yields rose slightly higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.78% and 2.94%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell 0.24% this week and closed at $65.65 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 9.22%.
  • The spot price of Gold increased 0.43% this week, closing at $1,298.97 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are down -0.29%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims fell 1,000 this week to 222,000. The largest decline of 6,000 in Michigan was offset by declines of a 6,000 increase in California and a 2,000 rise in Tennessee. The four-week moving average moved higher by 3,000 to 226,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • Factory orders fell 0.8% in April versus expectations of a 0.5% decline.
  • The ISM non-manufacturing index rose 1.8 points to 58.6 versus expectations of 57.6. The increase was led by business activity, new orders, and employment.
  • The trade deficit fell to -$46.2 billion versus expectations of -$49 billion. Exports were slightly weaker than expected.
  • Wholesale Inventories rose 0.1% in April versus expectations of no change.

Fact of the Week

  • Next year an estimated 45% of 176.1 million tax returns (about 80 million) projected to be filed will legally pay zero federal income tax. (source: Tax Policy Center)

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

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

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

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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

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China, Hawaii Volcano: Wealth Economic Update May 4, 2018

U.S. and World News

  • A United States delegation traveled to China this week to negotiate on trade. Ahead of the meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswomen Hua Chunying stated that it is not realistic to expect to have all the issues resolved in one meeting. It has been rumored that the United States requested China to reduce its trade surplus by at least $200 billion by 2021, cease government support for advanced technologies, cut tariffs on American products, and to agree not to retaliate. The United States has not made an official statement on the results of the meeting yet, however, China’s official news agency announced that the two countries agreed in some areas and would set up a “working mechanism” to keep trade negotiations going.
  • Kilauea-157649787_370Earlier in the week, a series of earthquakes on Hawaii’s Big Island sparked the eruption of the Kilauea volcano on Thursday evening. Nearly 1,500 people were forced to evacuate the area and lava is flowing through the streets of the Leilani Estates subdivision while residents are being sheltered at two community centers. On a Honolulu television station, a resident stated that “It sounded like if you were to put a bunch of rocks into a dryer and turn it on as high as you could.” The fire department has detected sulfar dioxide gas in the evacuation are at extreme levels. Kilauea is 212 miles southeast of Honolulu and is considered the most active volcano in Hawaii.

Markets

  • After The markets ended the week slightly lower. The S&P 500, lost 0.21% this week and closed at 2,663.42. The Dow Jones fell 0.19% and closed at 24,262.51. Year to date, the S&P is up 0.24% and the Dow Jones is down 1.20%.
  • Yields also moved lower this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 2.79% and 2.95%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil rose this week by 2.50% and closed at $69.80 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices are up 16.12%.
  • The spot price of Gold fell this week by 0.67%, closing at $1,315.11 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 0.95%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims rose 2,000 to 211,000 for the week. The largest increases were in New York and California. The four-week moving average moved down 7,000 to 222,000. The pace of layoffs still remains very low.
  • The trade deficit fell $8.8 billion to $49.0 billion in March led by the decline of goods and services imports and real imports of nonpetroleum goods.
  • Nonfarm payrolls growth came in at 164,000 for the month of April, below expectations of a 193,000 increase. Growth in prior months was revised up by a netted 30,000. Unseasonable weather in the Midwest was partly to blame for the weaker than expected number.
    • Average hourly earnings rose by 0.15%, missing expectations of a 0.20% increase and the year-over-year rate remained stable at 2.6%.
    • The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in April versus expectations of 4.0%.
  • Private payrolls increase by 204,000 versus expectations of a 198,000 increase.
  • The ISM non-manufacturing index fell by 2 points to 56.8, missing expectations of 58. The decline was led by the business activity index and the employment index.
  • Factory orders rose by 1.6% in March, exceeding expectations of a 1.4% increase.
  • The core PCE price index excluding food and energy increased 0.15% in March and the year-over-year rate increased to 1.88%. Expectations were for a 0.20% increase.
    • Personal income rose 0.3% in March versus expectations of a 0.4% increase.
    • Personal spending rose 0.4% in March, in line with expectations.

Fact of the Week

  • The total return for the S&P 500 over the last 10 years (2008-2017) was a gain of 8.5% per year (total return). If you avoided the 10 worst percentage days over the 10 years (10 trading days in total, not 10 days per year), the +8.5% annual gain rises to an annual gain of 16.8% (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.

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.