Don’s Notebook February 2, 2018


The results of Groundhog Day 2018 are in: According to legend, we’re in for six more weeks of winter because Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow. Bad news for those of us stuck in single digit temps.

The S&P 500 Index gained 5.62% last month, the best January since 1997.

A very solid employment report for January, at 4.1%, however the report did include a 200,000 gain in non-farm payrolls which was higher than Street estimates.

Consumer sentiment continued to edge back in the preliminary January index, to 94.4 in what was the softest showing in six months.

Today oil companies will lead earnings reports, with both Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. reporting before the bell.

More Notes:

  • U.S. 30-year yield closed> 3% for first time since May 2017
  • Financial sector (+1%) drafts behind yields, led by Banks (+1.4%)
  • AMZN fell -4.2% ahead of earnings, but rebounded +5% post-close
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Dr. Don Pratl is Director of Trader Development and Education for TradeStation. He joined TradeStation in 2016 after holding similar roles with other online brokerages. Don’s long career in the financial services industry reflects expertise in administering trading and investment strategy programs for retail investors as well as financial services professionals. Since the 1980s, he has held various positions in areas including CBOE trading floor order execution, marketing, sales, personnel management, training and customer service. Don holds series 3, 4, 7 and 63 FINRA licenses, earned his Ph.D. in Organization and Management, and his M.A. and B.A. in Political Science. He has been an occasional adjunct college instructor since 2004 at a range of institutions, teaching undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students using in-class and online formats.