UK Election, Qatar, Puerto Rico: Wealth Economic Update June 9, 2017

U.S. and World News

  • UKflag-518908074_360The decision to hold snap elections in the United Kingdom seems to have back-fired on Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservative Party as they lost their majority with the Labour Party gaining significant ground in Thursday’s vote. In April, Theresa May decided to hold the snap general election in an attempt to gain a significant majority for her ahead of the Brexit negotiations but with the poor results there have been calls for her resignation. The split parliament could make Brexit negotiations with the UK’s European Union partners more difficult.
  • Four Arab states (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain) have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar, as well as closing air and sea routes. This marked a significant escalation of a rift between the Persian Gulf countries that has been brewing for a few months. President Trump stated that he wished to “de-escalate” the situation but appeared to support the isolation of Qatar, noting that his message against funding terror and extremism is being heeded by those other countries in the region.
  • Citizens of Puerto Rico are voting this weekend in a referendum on the island’s political status. There will be three choices on the ballot: statehood, “current territorial status” and independence. It’s not clear what would happen in the case of any of these choices winning decisively or how Congress would interpret the results. This is the island’s fifth referendum since 1898 and comes amid a crippling economic crisis.

Markets

  • Markets were mixed this week. The S&P 500 dropped by 0.27% and closed at 2,432. The Dow Jones gained 0.33% for the week and closed at a New All Time High 21,272. Year to date, the S&P is up 9.57% and the Dow is up 8.84%.
  • Interest rates edged higher this week. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.77% and 2.20%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil lost 3.80% this week, closing at $45.85 per barrel. Year to date, Oil prices have fallen 14.65%.
  • The spot price of Gold ended the week higher, closing at $1,267.45 per ounce. Year to date, Gold prices are up 10.45%.

 Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims decreased by 10,000 from last week, coming in at 245,000. Most of the decreases in claims were attributed to California and Tennessee, reversing their increases last week. The four week moving average for claims moved up to 242,000.

Fact of the Week

  • The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has more than twice the number of listed securities as the NASDAQ exchange (8,500 vs. 3,100). Despite this difference, The NASDAQ, which lists mostly technology companies, averages more than double the daily trading volume of the NYSE (2 billion shares for the NASDAQ vs. 880 million for the NYSE). (Average daily trade volume based on 1-month average figure)

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

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Post-brexit: Wealth Economic Update Aug 8, 2016

U.S. and World News

  • london_big-ben_49186880_340U.K. Prime Minister Theresa has outlined her plan to reshape the British economy for a post-Brexit world. Her goal is to revive industrial productivity growth in the country by encouraging innovation and focusing on sectors and technologies that will give Britain a competitive advantage. Meanwhile, the Bank of England announced more easing measures in a continued effort to spur growth. Benchmark interest rates were cut and the central bank’s bond buying program was expanded and will now include corporate bonds.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a fresh stimulus package that ranks among the country’s largest since the global financial crisis. The package totals ¥28 trillion ($274 billion) and was approved in response to growing consensus that monetary policy alone won’t be able to revive Japan’s economy. Included in the package that’s expected to lift GDP 1.4% are childcare benefits, $150 handouts to 22 million low income citizens, a loan of ¥10.7 trillion for infrastructure projects and ¥7.5 trillion for direct fiscal spending.
  • India’s upper house of parliament unanimously approved the creation of a national sales tax, nearly a decade after the move was first proposed. This is considered to be the biggest legislative victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he took office in 2014. The tax bill seeks to streamline the country’s fragmented tax system by imposing a single national tax, something businesses have been lobbying for as it would reduce costs and could boost economic growth by 2%. The bill now must be ratified by at least half of all states in India, a process projected to be concluded before the end of the year.

Markets

  • This week the S&P 500 was up 0.49% and closed at an All-Time High of 2,183. The Dow Jones rose 0.65% and closed at 18,544. So far in 2016, the S&P is up 8.08% and the Dow is up 7.94%.
  • Interest rates popped up this week, particularly following the strong July employment report. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.13% and 1.59%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil gained 0.91% this week to close at $41.98 per barrel. WTI Crude is up 4.77% in 2016.
  • The spot price of Gold fell 1.13% this week, closing at $1,336.00 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are up 25.91%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims came in at 269,000 which is higher than last week’s reading of 266,000. The Labor Department noted no special factors in the data. The four week moving average for claims moved up to 260,000.
  • The July employment report showed an increase of 255,000 non-farm payrolls, beating expectations of 180,000. The prior two months’ figures were revised up a total of 18,000, bringing the three month average for job gains to 190,000.
    • The headline unemployment rate remained at 4.9%, narrowly missing estimates of 4.8%. The small miss was due to the labor force participation rate rising by 0.1% to 62.8%.
    • Average hourly earnings rose by 0.3% in July, beating expectations of 0.2%. Over the last 12 months, wages are up 2.6%.
  • The PCE Price index (measure of inflation) rose 0.1% in June, lower than expectations of 0.2%. Over the last 12 months, the PCE index is up 0.9%.
    • The Core PCE Price Index (excludes food and energy, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation) rose 0.1% in June, in line with expectations. Over the last year, core prices are up 1.6%.

Fact of the Week

  • At $25,000, George Washington’s presidential salary represented 2% of the U.S. budget in 1789. If that percentage of pay held today, Barrack Obama would be paid over $67 billion a year. (Source: USA Today)

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
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@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

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UK & Germany: Wealth Economic Update July 25, 2016

U.S. and World News

  • U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May made it clear that she would attempt to secure a very close economic relationship with Germany post-Brexit, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel refuses to negotiate until the U.K. invokes Article 50. If negotiations were to start early, it would give the British incentives to delay notification (the official start of the 2 year negotiation process), which would give them an advantage and could lead to the negotiations being dragged out indefinitely.  
  • A three-month state of emergency has been declared by Turkey’s President Erdogan Wednesday night in order to “protect democratic values” by stopping parliament from passing new laws against supporters of last Friday’s coup. President Erdogan has also suspended or detained roughly 50,000 police officers, judges, civil servants, and teachers this week which has provided some stability, but some uncertainty still remains. The Turkish equity index regained some of its losses and Turkey’s central bank cut its overnight lending rate 0.25% to 8.75%.

Markets

  • This week the S&P 500 was up 0.64% and closed at 2,175. The Dow Jones gained 0.35% and closed at 18,571. So far in 2016, the S&P is up 7.61% and the Dow is up 8.05%.
  • The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.12% and 1.57%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil fell 5.21% this week to close at $44.22 per barrel. WTI Crude is up 4.29% in 2016.
  • The spot price of Gold lost 1.11% this week, closing at $1,322.64 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are up 24.65%. 

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims came in at 253,000 which is slightly lower than last week’s reading. The Labor Department noted no special factors in the data. The four week moving average for claims moved down to 259,000.
  • Existing home sales were up 1.1% in June reaching a post-crisis high versus expectations of a slight decline. This was led by multi-family home sales and homes in the Midwest region.

Fact of the Week

  • The medium square footage of new single family homes built in the United States in 2015 was 2,467 square feet, an increase of 547 square feet over the last 20 years. That’s equivalent to a 23’ x 23’ addition to new homes today when compared to 1995 home construction. Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

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
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@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

*Image of Theresa May, Photo credit:UK Home Office, via Wikimedia Commons. License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.. (See, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Theresa_May_2015_(cropped).jpg).

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

 

New British PM: Wealth Economic Update July 18, 2016

U.S. and World News

  • Theresa May, British Prime Minister

    Theresa May, British Prime Minister*

    Just three weeks after the U.K. voted in favor of leaving the European Union, Theresa May took over from David Cameron to become the 54th British Prime Minister. Financial markets appeared to approve of the selection although many analysts have said the implications for the U.K. economy could be much bigger due to uncertainty about her policies. May has wasted no time readying her Brexit team as she has appointed a Chancellor, foreign secretary, a Brexit “Tsar” and a trade negotiator.

  • Staying in the U.K., the Bank of England surprised the market by choosing to hold off on any easing action this week. It was believed that BOE Governor Mark Carney would cut rates 25 basis points or increase its bond buying program in the wake of the Brexit vote in order to ward off a possible recession.

Markets

  • This week the S&P 500 was up 1.51% for the week and closed at 2,162. The Dow Jones gained 2.04% and closed at 18,517. So far in 2016, the S&P is up 6.94% and the Dow is up 7.68%.
  • The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.11% and 1.56%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil gained 1.17% this week to close at $45.94 per barrel. WTI Crude is up 9.69% in 2016.
  • The spot price of Gold lost 2.21% this week, closing at $1,336.15 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are up 25.92%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims came in at 254,000 which was unchanged from last week’s reading. The Labor Department noted no special factors in the data. The four week moving average for claims moved down to 259,000.
  • The headline Consumer Price Index (measure of inflation) rose 0.2% in June, below estimates of 0.3%. This was boosted by a 1.3% increase in energy prices, although food prices decline -0.1%. Over the last 12 months, headline CPI has risen 1.0%.
    • The Core CPI (excludes food and energy) rose 0.2%, in line with expectations. Rent inflation remained firm, rising 0.3% in the month. Over the last year, core prices have risen 2.3%.
  • Retail sales increased by 0.6% in June, soundly beating estimates of 0.1%. Sales were boosted in part by higher gasoline sales as fuel prices rose.

Fact of the Week

  • As of 6/30/2016, there was $11.7 trillion of sovereign debt that carries a negative interest rate (ie. investors loaned governments money with the guarantee that they would be paid back less if they held the bond to maturity). This represents over 30% of the world’s sovereign debt. Countries issuing negative yield debt include Japan, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland. (Source: Fitch Ratings)

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
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@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

*Image of Theresa May, Photo credit:UK Home Office, via Wikimedia Commons. License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.. (See, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Theresa_May_2015_(cropped).jpg).

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

 

Brexit aftermath: Wealth Economic Update July 5, 2016

U.S. and World News

  • pont_fawr_bridge_Wales_84636501_340The U.K. now faces the challenge created by its vote to leave the European Union and Chancellor George Osborne cautioned it would not be “plain sailing” in the days and weeks ahead. In the fallout from the shocking vote, there have been rumblings of a “re-do” vote or a renewed independence vote in Scotland, but neither is likely to gain too much traction. The process for the U.K. to leave is will officially begin when Parliament invokes Article 50, the timing of which has yet to be determined. Candidates for the Prime Minister post that David Cameron resigned from are beginning to emerge, though prominent Brexit figurehead and former London Mayor Boris Johnson has dropped out of the running.
  • Puerto Rico today defaulted on $800 million of debt payments it had constitutionally guaranteed to make to general obligation bond holders. These bond holders were supposed to receive priority before the Puerto Rican government paid out anything to state employees like police and teachers, however Governor Garcia Padilla ruled to continue running essential services on the island. This marks the first time that a U.S. state or territory has failed to pay general obligation bonds since the Great Depression. In response, Washington has pushed through a law signed by President Obama that would create a federal oversight board to oversee the restructuring of Puerto Rico’s over $70 billion of additional debt. The plan involves 1 out of every 3 dollars the island earns in revenue being used to pay off creditors.

Markets

  • After falling dramatically again on Monday, markets roared back the remainder of the week and regained most if not all of the post-Brexit losses. The S&P 500 was up 3.27% for the week and closed at 2,103. The Dow Jones gained 3.18% and closed at 17,949. So far in 2016, the S&P is up 4.00% and the Dow is up 4.37%.
  • Interest rates moved lower again this week despite the rally in the equity markets. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.00% and 1.44%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil gained 3.48% this week to close at $49.30 per barrel. WTI Crude is up 17.71% in 2016.
  • The spot price of Gold gained 1.95% this week, closing at $1,341.35 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are up 26.41%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims came in at 268,000 which was an increase from last week’s reading of 259,000. The Labor Department noted no special factors in the data. The four week moving average for claims moved down to 266,750.
  • The Case-Shiller home price index rose 0.5% in April, slightly missing expectations of 0.6%. Prices increased in 16 of the 20 cities represented in the index. Over the last 12 months, home prices as measured by the index have risen 5.4%.
  • The headline PCE Index (measure of inflation) rose by 0.2% in May, in line with consensus expectations. The increase was in part due to a 1.4% rise in energy goods and services prices. Over the last 12 months, headline PCE has increased 0.9%.
  • The Core PCE Index (excludes food and energy, preferred measure of inflation by the Federal Reserve) also increased 0.2% in May and was in line with expectations. Over the last 12 month, Core PCE has risen 1.6%, still well short of the Fed’s 2% inflation target.

Fact of the Week

  • According to the Social Security Trustees 2016 report, the trust fund backing the payment of Social Security benefits would be zero in 2035. A zero trust fund does not mean that Social Security payments would also go to zero, but rather would drop to 77% of their originally promised level (or a 23% cut to benefits). In the 2009 report, the projection had been that that the trust fund would hit zero in 2042.

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
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@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.

 

UK Vote: Wealth Economic Update June 27, 2016

U.S. and World News

  • london_big-ben_49186880_340The United Kingdom has voted to Leave the European Union in the historic Brexit vote held on Thursday. For more information on this event, please see the special Brexit update here.
  • Acting Brazilian President Michel Temer has authorized a payment of $850 million from the federal government to the state of Rio de Janeiro, which is struggling with a fiscal crisis less than two months before the Olympic Games are slated to begin. This is in addition to fears about the Zika virus and other major public health concerns leading up to the Olympics. Rio declared a state of financial emergency last week as a result of deteriorating finances, which have forced deep cuts to services like education, healthcare and policing.
  • Just a week before $2 billion in bond payments come due, Puerto Rico’s governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla reiterated that the island will default on its general obligations even if services are cut off. Padilla is currently in Washington lobbying for Congressional approval of a bill that would establish the framework for Puerto Rico to restructure its $70 billion in debt.

Markets

  • Equity markets rallied early in the week before dropping dramatically after the results of the Brexit Referendum. The S&P 500 was down -1.62% for the week and closed at 2037. The Dow Jones dropped 1.55% and closed at 17,400. So far in 2016, the S&P is up 0.74% and the Dow is up 1.18%.
  • Interest rates moved lower again this week following the Brexit vote. The 5 year and 10 year U.S. Treasury Notes are now yielding 1.07% and 1.56%, respectively.
  • The spot price of WTI Crude Oil lost 2.04% this week to close at $47.57 per barrel. WTI Crude is up 13.59% in 2016.
  • The spot price of Gold gained 1.32% this week, closing at $1,315.75 per ounce. Year to date, gold prices are up 24.00%.

Economic Data

  • Initial jobless claims came in at 259,000 which was a decrease from last week’s reading of 277,000. The Labor Department noted no special factors in the data. The four week moving average for claims moved down to 267,000.
  • Existing home sales increased by 1.8% in May, which was in line with consensus and reached a new post-crisis high. Single family home sales rose 1.9% in the month, while multi-family sales increased 1.6%. By region, existing home sales rose in the Northeast (+4.1%), South (+4.6%) and West (+5.4%), but fell in the Midwest (-6.5%).

Fact of the Week

  • During the 25 years from 1991 to 2015, the average interest rate on a 10 year US Treasury note was 4.7%. As of close on Friday June 24th, the 10 year US Treasury note had a yield of 1.56%. (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
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@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.

 

Brexit: Special Wealth Management Economic Update June 24, 2016

brexit_graphThe United Kingdom has spoken and its decision is for the nation to Leave the European Union. With all of the votes counted in the Brexit referendum, ‘Leave’ was victorious over ‘Remain’ by a margin of 52% to 48%. The result was a surprise to book makers and financial markets, both of which had heavily priced in a status quo result. Equity markets are sharply negative this morning, particularly overseas, and currency markets are quite volatile as they attempt to digest the surprising outcome.

UK Voters have had issues with the trade and particularly the immigration policies that had been imposed by the European Union for quite some time. The populistic belief that they had ‘lost their country’ to immigrants was the overriding reason for the ‘Leave’ vote. In response, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would resign and a replacement would be selected by October.

So what now? It should be noted that this will not be a fast process for the U.K. to leave. There is a two year negotiation period in order to establish new trade deals with the remaining EU members, all of which require parliamentary approval. The vote may also lead to other independence votes by other disgruntled EU members down the line, though EU officials will try to suppress these movements by making the terms of the UK’s exit as unattractive as possible. The longer term economic impact on the UK and Europe in general is up for debate, with many believing that all parties will be better off for the split, however short term volatility will likely continue as the details are worked out.

We at Old Second Wealth Management focus on long term investing, and market volatility such as this often presents opportunity to invest at depressed prices. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Old Second Relationship Manager or Investment Officer.

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
Jean Van Keppel CFA® – (630) 906-5489 jvankeppel@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.