Don’s Notebook February 16, 2018


The strengthening recovery across U.S. equities — the S&P 500 Index capped its best five-day run since 2011 yesterday — continues to set the tone for global benchmarks.

Overnight Thursday/early Friday Morning:

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7 percent ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday.
  • Japan’s Topix index closed 1 percent higher after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended Haruhiko Kuroda as head of Bank of Japan for another five-year term.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was trading higher with energy shares leading a broad rebound.

Government Reports Today:

  • The consensus for January housing starts 1.232 million annualized rate vs 1.192 million in December with housing permits seen at a 1.300 million rate which would be unchanged from December’s revised result (1.302 million initially reported).

Import/Export Prices:

  • The export side shows strength, up 0.8 percent overall.
  • Import prices were stronger than expected – 1.0 percent in January.
  • Non-petroleum prices rose an unusually strong 0.5 percent.
  • 0.5 percent price jump for imported vehicles.
  • Higher prices for imported food & beverages.

Reports later Today:

  • 10am – The University of Michigan February Consumer Sentiment report.
  • 1pm – the latest Baker Hughes Report, showing the number of active operating oil & gas rigs, is due. Last week’s report showed the biggest jump in a year.
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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.