Don’s Notebook May 24, 2018


Today’s weekly initial jobless claims was not in line with last week’s 222,000 figure.

  • The Initial Jobless Claims report from the US Department of Labor showed an increase of 11,000 claims during the week of May 19th to 234,000.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) data  should announce one of the strongest areas of the economy — home prices. But home sales, the latest update coming from today’s existing home sales report, was not positive.

  • Home prices slowed in March based on the FHFA house price index which rose only 0.1 percent for the lowest result in more than three years.

President Trump is advocating for new tariffs on cars and trucks imported to the U.S and this has affected overnight markets. An additional duty of up to 25 percent may be under consideration. This policy proposal has affected the overnight markets.


  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.2 percent,
  • Japan’s Topix index closed 1.2 percent lower as automakers were hit following the US move on tariffs.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent higher by 5:40 a.m. as markets bounced back from yesterday’s selloff, led by tech stocks,

  • The region’s auto sector was also under pressure.
  • S&P 500 futures pointed to a small gain at the open,
  • the 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.008 percent
  • Gold advanced.
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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.