Don’s Notebook May 3, 2018

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Don’s Notebook May 3, 2018

March looks to have been a very good month for the trade balance, the month when tariffs and trade wars first hit the news.

  • The trade deficit fell in March to $49.0 billion with the Chinese deficit, narrowing to $25.9 billion from February’s $29.3 billion.
  • Import tariffs on steel and aluminum were imposed late in the month but they didn’t slow steel imports which rose to $2.8 billion compared to $2.2 billion in February.

Initial jobless claims came in at 211,000 during the week of April 28th, only 2,000 higher from the prior week’s 209,000 which remains a 49-year low. New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time.

  • The major data point for the U.S. economy is due tomorrow when the April jobs report is released.

The FOMC statement yesterday included the decision to hold rates in place.

  • Comments in the FOMC announcement reflected a relaxed approach toward reaching its 2 percent target.

The European Central Bank reported an unexpected drop in headline consumer-price growth to 1.2 percent, while core inflation dropped to 0.7 percent, the weakest in more than a year.

Earnings announcements today include: AIG, Ferrari, Cigna, Blue Apron Holdings, Treehouse Foods and Kellogg.

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