Business inventories increased

Pizza Hut, owned by Yum Brands, plans to hire 14,000 delivery drivers by the end of 2017, or about 3,000 a month. The chain is adding a new technology system to improve delivery reliability and accuracy. (CNBC)

Business inventories increased 0.3% in May. At May’s sales pace, it would take 1.38 months for businesses to clear shelves, up from 1.37 months in April. (Commerce Department)

The index of homebuilder confidence fell 2 points in July to 64, that was lower than expected. Anything above 50 is considered positive however. The new tariffs on Canadian lumber of up to 24% has caused the cost of framing lumber to spike in recent months, which only exacerbates already rising prices for land and skilled labor. (National Association of Home Builders)

Copper, the industrial metal known for its status as a primary indicator for future global demand growth, has quietly broken out from early year weakness and is poised to test new highs. Iron ore has also surged about 25% over the past month. Surging steel prices are propelling base metals, boosting both commodity currencies and emerging market stocks. (LPL Research)

The S&P 500 is up 2 and the NASDAQ is up 15. The MSCI international index is higher.

Oil is up 14 cents at $46.54 a barrel.

Gold is down $1 at $1241 a Troy ounce.

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.

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Financial Focus • July 19, 2017


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