Don’s Notebook March 26, 2018


It is a short week for traders as the market will be closed on Good Friday.


  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.4 percent higher as the yen fell against the dollar following Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s comments on China trade.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent higher by 5:45 a.m. as trade tensions eased a little and stocks were lifted by M&A activity in the region.
  • S&P 500 futures gained 1.1 percent, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.848 percent and gold was broadly unchanged.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a monthly index that tracks overall economic activity and inflationary pressures and it was released this morning before the market opened.

  • It showed an increase in industrial production that fueled a rise in the national activity index, at 0.88 in February vs a revised plus 0.02 in January.
  • The report in overall was positive and suggests factory-led strength for the first quarter.

Expected earnings continue to be slow for the time being. Paychex, Sierra Metals and Red Hat are notable companies that are hosting conference calls today.

Toys “R” Us announced plans for a March 29th liquidation auction of its US stores along with plans to sell the company’s international operations.

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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.