Higher growth expectations should keep the bull market moving forward

1Q earnings are in full swing and growth expectations heading into the reporting period increased from 12.2% on December 31st to 18.5% currently. Normally, expectations get whittled down during the quarter and then earnings post a modest surprise off depressed expectations. With the earnings preannouncement ratio exceptionally low, stocks may be priced for perfection. However, earnings growth is expected to accelerate even further in the coming quarters as companies report better top-line growth. This should bode well for strong cash flow in 2019 that can be used for wage increases, dividends, buy-backs, and capex.

The performance of the top quintile of capex spenders will be an important barometer for the efficacy of the tax package. Continued outperformance over companies more inclined to buy back stock would suggest better productivity, low unit labor costs, a pick-up in earnings, and a longer business cycle. Until recently, capex spenders have not outperformed the companies spending on other outlets of cash (share repurchases, cash, dividends, M&A, balance sheet repair) since 2010.

While this reporting period may be an opportunity for the market to grow into a more attractive multiple, there are political risks in nearly every sector. We are inclined to own the companies most levered to fiscal policy during this time of uncertainty. Investors are focused on trade policy and the Mueller investigation but the implications of fiscal policy outweigh the effects of trade policy and the investigation seems like more noise than anything else. Congress passed $200bn of tax cuts and $100bn of new federal spending. This is more than 1.6% of GDP and we expect an additional $500-700bn of repatriated funds over the coming months. Conversely, trade policy is only $50-60bn of tariffs. To put things in perspective, the market is up just 3.3% since the tax bill was introduced in Nov.

Stocks advanced last week during a volatile week dominated by corporate earnings reports.  Energy outperformed as crude oil inventory levels fell below their five-year average for the first time since 2014; also, data for the first quarter will likely show the highest global demand since late 2010.  And, OPEC and Russian oil ministers suggested at a private meeting in Saudi Arabia that they could extend an agreement on production limits into 2019.  Disappointing earnings results for tobacco companies triggered sharp losses for Phillip Morris International (-17%) and Altria Group (-11%) in the Consumer Staples sector.  Yields for short and intermediate-term bonds rose; the yield on the 2-year and 10-year U.S. Treasury Notes hit their highest levels of the year.  The yield difference between long-term and short-term bonds has narrowed as the demand for long-term bonds remains strong.  Global economic data remain broadly positive: retail sales increased in March, both industrial production and housing starts grew faster than expected.  And, China’s first quarter GDP rose 6.8%; industrial production increased 6.0% and retail sales increased 10.1%.  The IMF maintained its 3.9% global growth forecast for 2018 and 2019.

Corporate earnings also point to strengthening economic conditions.  Thus far, 85 companies in the S&P 500? Index have reported results; of these, 69% have met or exceeded analysts’ sales estimates and 87% have met or exceeded analysts’ earnings per share (EPS) estimates.  Since the start of earnings season, the forecast for corporate EPS growth has increased from 17.3% to 18.3%.  Meanwhile, concerns over possible trade disputes have dissipated somewhat.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that he sees “an opportunity to make significant progress” on NAFTA; the U.S. is hoping to reach a deal for a renegotiated agreement within the next few weeks.  And, China declared plans to remove foreign ownership limits for automotive companies within the next four years.  Geopolitical tensions have also abated.  No military actions have followed last Friday’s military strikes against Syria.  And, South Korean President Moon Jae-In announced that North Korea may be ready for complete denuclearization while allowing the U.S. military to remain in South Korea.

This week, over 170 companies in the S&P 500? Index, including Verizon, Lockheed Martin, Visa, United Parcel Services, Starbucks, and ExxonMobil, report results.  Technology companies will also be in focus with earnings reports from Alphabet (parent company of Google), Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Intel.  The sector, which accounts for roughly a quarter of the Index, will likely play an outsized role in determining the market’s near-term direction.

*Source:  Strategas and Pacific Global Investment Management Company

image.png

Chart reflects price changes, not total return.  Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

 

Last Week's Headlines

1. Business activity grew at a solid clip in New York State, according to firms responding to the April 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index, at 15.8, remained firmly in positive territory, although its seven-point decline from its March level pointed to a somewhat slower pace of growth. Similarly, the new orders index and the shipments index suggested ongoing, albeit more measured, growth, with the first index falling eight points to 9.0 and the second declining ten points to 17.5. Delivery times continued to lengthen, and inventories moved higher. Labor market indicators pointed to a small increase in employment and significantly longer workweeks. The indexes for both prices paid and prices received remained elevated. Firms’ optimism about the six-month outlook waned sharply, with the index for future business conditions plunging twenty-six points to its lowest level in more than two years.

2. Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March 2018, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $494.6 billion, an increase of 0.6 percent (±0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 4.5 percent (±0.5 percent) above March 2017. Total sales for the January 2018 through March 2018 period were up 4.1 percent (±0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago.

3. Manufacturers’ and trade inventories, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $1,928.8 billion, up 0.6 percent (±0.1 percent) from January 2018 and were up 4.0 percent (±0.3 percent) from February 2017.

4. Industrial production rose 0.5 percent in March after increasing 1.0 percent in February; the index advanced 4.5 percent at an annual rate for the first quarter as a whole. After having climbed 1.5 percent in February, manufacturing production edged up 0.1 percent in March. Mining output rose 1.0 percent, mostly as a result of gains in oil and gas extraction and in support activities for mining. The index for utilities jumped 3.0 percent after being suppressed in February by warmer-than-normal temperatures. At 107.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.3 percent higher in March than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector moved up 0.3 percentage point in March to 78.0 percent, a rate that is 1.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.

 

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Brian Amidei is Coachella Valley's only Barron's Magazine Top 1,000 Advisor in 2013 and 2014!

Brian Amidei, along with Partners Joseph Romano and Brett D'Orlando have also been named *2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Five Star Wealth Managers!

Disclosures:

Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Fortem is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of Fortem or its representatives by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor. Awards may not be indicative of one client?s experience or of the Firm?s future performance.  Neither Fortem nor the recognized advisor has paid a fee for inclusion on a list, nor purchased any additional material from the award provider. The criteria for each award is listed below:

Barron?s Disclosure:

The Barron's award is is based on the recognized adviser's assets under management, contribution to the firm's revenues and profits, and quality of practice.  Investment performance is not an explicit criteria.  Additional information about this award is available at http://online.barrons.com/report/top-financial-advisors. 

Five Star Professional Disclosure:

The Five Star Wealth Manager award is based on 10 eligibility and evaluation criteria: 1) Credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR) or a registered investment advisor; 2) Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; 3) Favorable regulatory and complaint history review; 4) Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; 5) Accepting new clients; 6) One-year client retention rate; 7) Five-year client retention rate; 8) Non-institutionalized discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9) Number of client households served; and 10) Educational and professional designations. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or the magazine. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided.  Additional information about this award is available at: fivestarprofessional.com/2016FiveStarWealthManagerMethodology.pdf

Fortem Financial 2016. All rights reserved. 

Data Sources:  News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations.  Market Data: Based on reported data in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury Yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates).  All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. 

Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice.  The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent those of Fortem Financial, LLC or any of its affiliates.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.  Forward looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, the economy, and future conditions.  As such, forward-looking statements are subject to inherent uncertainty, risks, and changes in circumstance that are difficult to predict.  Actual results may differ materially from the anticipated outcomes.  Carefully consider investment objectives, risk factors and charges and expenses before investing.  Fortem Financial is a registered investment adviser with the SEC.  Advisory services are offered through Fortem Financial.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks.  The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy.  The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.  The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighed index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks.  The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide.  Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

Earnings Season Finally Begins for Q1

Markets rebounded this week as trade tensions eased.  China’s President Xi Jinping’s speech this week at the Boao Forum reiterated past promises to increase imports, reduce import duties on automobiles, expand access to the country’s financial sector, and enforce intellectual property rights for foreign firms.  Investors also responded positively to the prospect of a negotiated resolution to the tariff dispute; reports revealed that the U.S. and China had engaged in (unsuccessful) trade negotiations as recently as last week.  In other trade related news, President Trump ordered officials to look into rejoining the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement with eleven other countries to lower tariffs and counter China’s growing influence in the region.  Other political developments this week included the possible re-escalation of the Syrian conflict in response to the country’s use of chemical weapons; the FBI’s investigation of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer; and the announcement by House Speaker Paul Ryan that he will not seek re-election.  These events, though, had a negligible impact on markets.

Energy was the strongest performing sector this week; oil prices rose in reaction to the re-emergence of geopolitical risks in Syria and reports that Saudi Arabia is targeting $80 per barrel ahead of the IPO of state oil giant Saudi Aramco later this year or in 2019.  Technology also outperformed following Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before Congress; his testimony outlined steps the company is taking to better handle third party access to user data.  Still, the industry faces the prospect of digital privacy regulations as well as increased expenses for monitoring potentially illicit activities.  Meanwhile, consumer and producer price increases were roughly in line with expectations.

First quarter earnings season started with Delta Airlines and financial companies JP Morgan, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and BlackRock exceeding analysts’ sales and earnings per share (EPS) estimates.  Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, noted, “The global economy continues to do well, and we remain optimistic about the positive impact of tax reform in the U.S. as business sentiment remains upbeat, and consumers benefit from job and wage growth.”  Glen Hauenstein, President of Delta Airlines, commented, “We are seeing our strongest revenue momentum since 2014, driven by improvements in all geographic regions, strong corporate results, and double-digit increases in loyalty revenue.”  The positive results bode well for the market.  Indeed, stocks have appreciated during every earnings season since 2013 as investors reacted positively to improving corporate performance and optimistic management outlooks.  The first quarter earnings reporting period may continue the trend as analysts expect earnings to grow at their fastest pace in seven years and business and consumer confidence are at their highest levels since 2004.

*Source:  Pacific Global Investment Management Company

Chart reflects price changes, not total return.  Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments.

 

Last Week's Headlines

1. The Producer Price Index for final demand advanced 0.3 percent in March, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Final demand prices rose 0.2 percent in February and 0.4 percent in January. In March, 70 percent of the rise in the final demand index is attributable to a 0.3-percent advance in prices for final demand services. The index for final demand goods also climbed 0.3 percent. For the 12 months ended in March, prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services increased 2.9 percent, the largest advance since 12-month percent change data were available in August 2014. - Bureau of Labor Statistics

2. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were $625.6 billion at the end of February, up 1.0 percent (±0.2 percent) from the revised January level. Total inventories were up 5.5 percent (±0.9 percent) from the revised February 2017 level. The January 2018 to February 2018 percent change was revised from the advance estimate of up 1.1 percent (±0.2 percent) to up 1.0 percent (±0.2 percent). - www.census.gov 

3.  The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.1 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.2 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.4 percent before seasonal adjustment. 

4.  The number of job openings was little changed at 6.1 million on the last business day of February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.5 million and 5.2 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.2 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 1.1 percent. - Bureau of Labor Statistics 

5.  Consumer sentiment slipped in early April, largely reversing the gains recorded in the prior two months. The small decline was widely shared by all age and income subgroups and across all regions of the country. Importantly, confidence still remains relatively high, despite the recent losses that were mainly due to concerns about the potential impact of Trump's trade policies on the domestic economy. Uncertainty surrounding the evolving trade policy has caused many small (and at times inconsistent) changes in expectations. Spontaneous references to trade policies were made by 29% of all consumers in early April, with nearly all the mentions negative (27% out of 29%). 

6.  Business activity grew robustly in New York State, according to firms responding to the March 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index climbed nine points to 22.5. The new orders index rose to 16.8 and the shipments index advanced to 27.0—readings that pointed to strong growth in orders and shipments. Unfilled orders increased, delivery times lengthened, and inventories edged higher. Labor market indicators showed an increase in employment and hours worked. After reaching a multiyear high last month, the prices paid index moved up further, reflecting ongoing and widespread increases in input prices. 

 

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Brian Amidei is Coachella Valley's only Barron's Magazine Top 1,000 Advisor in 2013 and 2014!

Brian Amidei, along with Partners Joseph Romano and Brett D'Orlando have also been named *2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Five Star Wealth Managers!

Disclosures:

Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Fortem is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of Fortem or its representatives by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor. Awards may not be indicative of one client?s experience or of the Firm?s future performance.  Neither Fortem nor the recognized advisor has paid a fee for inclusion on a list, nor purchased any additional material from the award provider. The criteria for each award is listed below:

Barron's Disclosure:

The Barron's award is is based on the recognized adviser's assets under management, contribution to the firm's revenues and profits, and quality of practice.  Investment performance is not an explicit criteria.  Additional information about this award is available at http://online.barrons.com/report/top-financial-advisors. 

Five Star Professional Disclosure:

The Five Star Wealth Manager award is based on 10 eligibility and evaluation criteria: 1) Credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR) or a registered investment advisor; 2) Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; 3) Favorable regulatory and complaint history review; 4) Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; 5) Accepting new clients; 6) One-year client retention rate; 7) Five-year client retention rate; 8) Non-institutionalized discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9) Number of client households served; and 10) Educational and professional designations. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or the magazine. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided.  Additional information about this award is available at: fivestarprofessional.com/2016FiveStarWealthManagerMethodology.pdf

Fortem Financial 2016. All rights reserved. 

Data Sources:  News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations.  Market Data: Based on reported data in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury Yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates).  All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. 

Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice.  The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent those of Fortem Financial, LLC or any of its affiliates.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.  Forward looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, the economy, and future conditions.  As such, forward-looking statements are subject to inherent uncertainty, risks, and changes in circumstance that are difficult to predict.  Actual results may differ materially from the anticipated outcomes.  Carefully consider investment objectives, risk factors and charges and expenses before investing.  Fortem Financial is a registered investment adviser with the SEC.  Advisory services are offered through Fortem Financial.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks.  The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy.  The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.  The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighed index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks.  The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide.  Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

Trade Wars... or Not?

With all the talk about China, we wanted to share the attached article from Reuters. Since the first mention of tariffs, we've said that we DO NOT believe we will end up in a full blown trade war with China. It would not be in China's or our best interest.  We've also cited multiple examples of both sides rolling their threats back after they were made. Below, we've included an article that again reiterates to us that much of what we're seeing may simply be posturing. Trump wants to appear strong to his constituents, and China wants to appear to be a global powerhouse that does not acquiesce to anyone.

We believe this provides a clear explanation of why both sides keep changing their position. It also leads us to believe we will likely see more volatility and more public discussion (positive and negative) about global trade and tariffs.

However, as we've said before, the fundamentals look good, and while they continue as such, the markets should respond positively. Further, these trade arguments are moving towards action, and we believe they will end with both sides making reasonable concessions; those who can tune out the noise and follow the fundamental data should be rewarded for their patience.

Here is the article from Reuters today:

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at an annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia in Boao, in the southern Chininse province of Hainan.

Adds Trump comments on Xi speech

  • Xi pledges to maintain opening, reform measures
  • Xi warns against "Cold War mentality"
  • Trump welcomes Chinese president's "enlightenment" on IP
  • China to lower import tariffs on autos, other products
  • China to broaden market access for foreign firms
  • Most promises not new but could ease U.S. trade tensions for now, may open door for talks-analysts

BOAO/BEIJING, China, April 10 (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping promised on Tuesday to open the country's economy further and lower import tariffs on products like cars, in a speech seen as an attempt to defuse an escalating trade dispute with the United States.

While much of his pledges were reiterations of previously announced reforms that foreign businesses say are long overdue, Xi's comments sent stock markets and the U.S. dollar higher on hopes of a compromise that could avert a trade war.MKTS/GLOB

Xi said China will widen market access for foreign investors, addressing a chief complaint of its trading partners and a point of contention for U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, which has threatened billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods.

Trump struck a conciliatory tone in response to Xi's speech, saying in a post on Twitter that he was "thankful" for the Chinese leader's kind words on tariffs and access for U.S. automakers, as well as his "enlightenment" on the issue of intellectual property.

"We will make great progress together!" Trump tweeted. (Full Story)

Washington charges that Chinese companies steal the trade secrets of American companies and force them into joint ventures to get hold of their technology, an issue that is at the center of Trump's current tariff threats.

The latest comments from both leaders appear to reinforce a view that a full-scale trade war can be averted, although there have been no talks between the world's two economic superpowers since the U.S. tariffs were announced.

"President Xi’s speech appears to have struck a relatively positive tone and opens the door to potential negotiations with the U.S. in our view. The focus now shifts to the possible U.S. response," economists at Nomura said.

"But of course actions speak louder than words. We will keep an eye on the progress of those opening-up measures."

The speech at the Boao Forum for Asia in the southern province of Hainan had been widely anticipated as one of Xi's first major addresses in a year in which the ruling Communist Party marks the 40th anniversary of its landmark economic reforms and opening up under former leader Deng Xiaoping.

Xi said China would raise the foreign ownership limit in the automobile, shipbuilding and aircraft sectors "as soon as possible" and push previously announced measures to open the financial sector.

"This year, we will considerably reduce auto import tariffs, and at the same time reduce import tariffs on some other products," Xi said.

He said "Cold War mentality" and arrogance had become obsolete and would be repudiated. His speech did not specifically mention the United States or its trade policies, which have been assailed by Chinese state media in recent days.

Vice Premier Liu He had already vowed at the World Economic Forum in January that China would roll out fresh market opening moves this year, and that it would lower auto import tariffs in an "orderly way". (Full Story)

Chinese officials have promised since at least 2013 to ease restrictions on foreign joint ventures in the auto industry, which would allow foreign firms to take a majority stake. They currently are limited to a 50 percent stake in joint ventures and cannot establish their own wholly owned factories.

Tesla's Chief Executive Elon Musk has railed against an unequal playing field in China and wants to retain full ownership over a manufacturing facility the company is in talks to build there. (Full Story)

"This is a very important action by China. Avoiding a trade war will benefit all countries," Musk tweeted after Xi's speech.

Foreign business groups welcomed Xi's commitment to reforms, including promises to strengthen legal deterrence on intellectual property violators, but said the speech fell short on specifics.

"Ultimately U.S. industry will be looking for implementation of long-stalled economic reforms, but actions to date have greatly undermined the optimism of the U.S. business community," said Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the U.S.-China Business Council.

 

EASING OF TENSION

Jonas Short, head of the Beijing office at Everbright Sun Hung Kai, said the market was cheered by Xi's speech because it was framed in more positive terms which could ease trade tensions, but he voiced caution about promised reforms.

"China is opening sectors where they already have a distinct advantage, or a stranglehold over the sector," Short said, citing its banking industry, which is dominated by domestic players.

Xi's renewed pledges to open up the auto sector come after Trump on Monday criticised China on Twitter for maintaining 25 percent auto import tariffs compared to the United States' 2.5 percent duties, calling such a relationship with China not free trade but "stupid trade." (Full Story)

Analysts have cautioned that any Chinese concessions on autos, while welcome, would be a relatively easy win for China to offer the United States, as plans for opening that sector had been under way well before Trump took office.

But Vice Commerce Minister Qian Keming said at the forum on Tuesday that China's economic reforms were driven by domestic factors and not due to external pressures. (Full Story)

Xi said China would accelerate opening up its insurance industry, with Shanghai Securities News citing a government researcher after the speech saying foreign investors should be able to hold a controlling stake or even full ownership of an insurance company in the future.

Trump's move last week to threaten China with tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods was aimed at forcing Beijing to address what Washington says is deeply entrenched theft of U.S. intellectual property and forced technology transfers from U.S. companies.

Chinese officials deny such charges, and responded within hours of Trump's announcement of tariffs with their own proposed commensurate duties.

The move prompted Trump last week to threaten tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods, which have yet to be identified. None of the announced duties have been implemented yet, offering room for negotiation. (Full Story)

Beijing charges that Washington is the aggressor and spurring global protectionism, although China's trading partners have complained for years that it abuses World Trade Organization rules and practices unfair industrial policies that lock foreign companies out of crucial sectors with the intent of creating domestic champions.

While U.S. officials, including Trump, have recently expressed optimism that the two sides would hammer out a trade deal, Chinese officials in recent days have said negotiations would be impossible under "current circumstances".

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan, on a visit to Beijing, said he was optimistic that very few if any of the proposed tariffs by the United States and China announced in recent weeks will actually be implemented. (Full Story)

"I think it’s so clearly in the interest of both countries that we have a constructive trading relationship and that we have substantive talks to redress these issues.”

?         U.S. and Chinese tariffs

https://tmsnrt.rs/2GXE9qr 

(Additional reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu, Shu Zhang, Adam Jourdan and Makini Brice in Washington; Writing by Michael Martina;
Editing by Sam Holmes, Kim Coghill and Bernadette Baum)

(( Elias.Glenn@thomsonreuters.com ; +86 138 1600 5903; Reuters Messaging: elias.glenn@thomsonreuters.com ))

We will keep you updated as things develop moving forward.  Please contact us with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,
Fortem Financial

 


 

Brian Amidei is Coachella Valley's only Barron's Magazine Top 1,000 Advisor in 2013 and 2014!

Brian Amidei, along with Partners Joseph Romano and Brett D'Orlando have also been named *2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Five Star Wealth Managers!

Disclosures:

Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Fortem is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of Fortem or its representatives by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor. Awards may not be indicative of one client?s experience or of the Firm?s future performance.  Neither Fortem nor the recognized advisor has paid a fee for inclusion on a list, nor purchased any additional material from the award provider. The criteria for each award is listed below:

Barron?s Disclosure:

The Barron's award is is based on the recognized adviser's assets under management, contribution to the firm's revenues and profits, and quality of practice.  Investment performance is not an explicit criteria.  Additional information about this award is available at http://online.barrons.com/report/top-financial-advisors. 

Five Star Professional Disclosure:

The Five Star Wealth Manager award is based on 10 eligibility and evaluation criteria: 1) Credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR) or a registered investment advisor; 2) Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; 3) Favorable regulatory and complaint history review; 4) Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; 5) Accepting new clients; 6) One-year client retention rate; 7) Five-year client retention rate; 8) Non-institutionalized discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9) Number of client households served; and 10) Educational and professional designations. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or the magazine. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided.  Additional information about this award is available at: fivestarprofessional.com/2016FiveStarWealthManagerMethodology.pdf

Fortem Financial 2016. All rights reserved. 

Data Sources:  News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations.  Market Data: Based on reported data in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury Yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/Bloomberg.com Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); www.goldprice.org (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates).  All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness. 

Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice.  The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent those of Fortem Financial, LLC or any of its affiliates.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful.  Forward looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, the economy, and future conditions.  As such, forward-looking statements are subject to inherent uncertainty, risks, and changes in circumstance that are difficult to predict.  Actual results may differ materially from the anticipated outcomes.  Carefully consider investment objectives, risk factors and charges and expenses before investing.  Fortem Financial is a registered investment adviser with the SEC.  Advisory services are offered through Fortem Financial.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks.  The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy.  The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.  The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighed index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks.  The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide.  Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

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PRIVACY NOTICE REGARDING CLIENT PRIVACY

Fortem Financial Group, LLC, has adopted this policy with recognition that protecting the privacy and security of the non-public personal information we obtain about our customers is an important responsibility.

All financial companies choose how they share your non-public personal information. Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some but not all sharing. Federal law also requires us to tell you how we collect, share, and protect your non-public personal information. Even when you are no longer our customer, we will only share your non-public personal information as described in this notice. So, please read this notice carefully to understand what we do.

The types of non-public personal information we collect and share depend on the product or service you have with us. This information can include items such as your Social Security number and income, your account balances and transaction history, and your investment experience and account transactions.

We collect your non-public personal information in a variety of ways. For example, we obtain your non-public personal information when you open an account or give us your income information, tell us about your portfolio or deposit money, or enter into an investment advisory contract. We also collect your non-public personal information from other companies. For example, from the custodians who hold your account assets.

All financial companies need to share customer’s non-public personal information to run their everyday business. Below, we describe the reasons we can share your non-public personal information and whether you can limit this sharing.

We share your non-public personal information for our everyday business purposes such as to process your transactions, maintain your account(s), respond to court orders and legal investigations, report to credit bureaus, to protect the confidentiality or security of your records, or as permitted by law. We may also share your non-public personal information for our own firm’s marketing purposes; so that we can offer our products and services to you.

Federal law gives you the right to limit only sharing non-public personal information about your credit worthiness for our affiliates’ everyday business purposes; sharing non-public personal information about you with our affiliates to market to you; and sharing non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you.

We don’t share non-public personal information about your creditworthiness with our affiliates for their everyday business purposes. We don’t share your non-public personal information with our affiliates to market to you. We don’t share your non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you. We also don’t share your non-public personal information for joint marketing with other financial companies. State laws and individual companies may give you additional rights to limit sharing.

We share non-public personal information with our parent company affiliate, Focus Financial Partners, LLC, for its internal and external auditing purposes. We also share your non-public personal information with a non-affiliate for the purpose of aggregating it and providing summary information based on this data to our parent company, Focus Financial Partners, LLC.

To protect your non-public personal information from unauthorized access and use, we use security measures that comply with federal law. These measures include computer safeguards and secured files and buildings.

Our policy about obtaining and disclosing non-public personal information may change from time to time. We will provide you notice of any material change to this policy before we implement the change.

If you have questions please call us at 760-206-8500 or go to our website at www.fortemfin.com.

IMPORTANT CONSUMER DISCLOSURE

Fortem Financial, LLC ("Fortem Financial" or the "Firm") is a federally registered investment adviser with offices in California. Fortem Financial and its representatives are in compliance with the current registration and notice filing requirements imposed upon federally registered investment advisers by those states in which Fortem Financial maintains clients. Fortem Financial may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from notice filing requirements.

This website is limited to the dissemination of general information regarding the Firm's investment advisory services offered to U.S. residents residing in states where providing such information is not prohibited by applicable law. Accordingly, the publication of Fortem Financial' website on the Internet should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as a solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment, tax or legal advice. Furthermore, the information resulting from the use of any tools or other information on this website should not be construed, in any manner whatsoever, as the receipt of, or a substitute for, personalized individual advice from Fortem Financial. Any subsequent direct communication from Fortem Financial with a prospective client will be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. Fortem Financial does not make any representations as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to this website or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

All statements and opinions included on this website are subject to change as economic and market conditions dictate, and do not necessarily represent the views of Fortem Financial or any of their respective affiliates. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and there can be no assurance that any views, outlooks, projections or forward-looking statements will come to pass. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and the profitability of any particular investment strategy or product cannot be guaranteed.

Any rating referenced herein may not be representative of any one client's experience. Further, the Firm's receipt of any rating is not indicative of the Firm's future performance. The Charles E. Merrill Circle of Excellence award is granted by Merrill Lynch for outstanding client service and satisfaction. The award is granted based on annual criteria established by Merrill Lynch for its top decile advisors. The Barron's Top 1,200 Financial Advisors rating of the top financial advisors in the United States is based on data provided by participating firms. The following factors are included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. Investment performance is not an explicit component. The Five Star Professional award is granted by Five Star Professional and recognizes service professionals who provide quality services to their clients based on data provided by participating firms. The award is granted based on the following ten objective eligibility and evaluation criteria: credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR) or a registered investment advisor; actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; favorable regulatory and complaint history review; fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; accepting new clients; one-year client retention rate; five-year client retention rate; non-institutionalized discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; number of client households served; and educational and professional designations. Feedback from consumer surveys will augment a regulatory history review. Firms have the option to provide input on award candidates from their firm, regardless of the nomination source. The Palm Springs Life's "40 Under 40" Rising Young Professionals to Watch in the Coachella Valley is based upon nominations from the local business community and selected by the staff of Palm Springs Life.

For information pertaining to the registration status of Fortem Financial, please refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website, operated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov., which contains the most recent versions of the Firm's Form ADV disclosure documents.

ACCESS TO THIS WEBSITE IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, TIMELINESS, OR RESULTS OBTAINED FROM ANY INFORMATION POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE OR ANY THIRD PARTY WEBSITE REFERENCED HEREIN.