Don’s Notebook May 11, 2018


Don’s Notebook May 11, 2018

April’s inflation reports this week have been trending lower, but oil-related, and dollar- and tariff-related, pressure shows in today’s data on import prices.

  • Import prices, up 0.3 percent in April, got a boost from a rise in oil but were otherwise flat, at only a 0.1 percent increase excluding petroleum.
  • Export prices do show pressure, up 0.6 percent in the month despite a 1.2 percent decline in agricultural prices

The preliminary reading of University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for May held steady at a solid 98.8 for preliminary May led by a gain in the expectations component, now at 89.5, which offset a dip in the assessment of current conditions, at 113.3.

  • Year-ahead inflation expectations edged 1 tenth higher to 2.8 percent, a level last matched back in March this year but not surpassed since March 2015.
  • There no hints in today’s report of a burst higher for consumer spending nor for inflation, though the results are consistent with moderate strength for both.

Watch for Q1 Earnings announcements from notables Subaru, Thomson Reuters, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone and Pilgrim’s Pride.


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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.