Don’s Notebook July 13, 2018

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In an interview Thursday on American Public Media’s “Marketplace” program, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy but warned a sustained period of high tariffs on a wide variety of imports could be harmful to growth.

Import prices offered the latest on cross-border inflation and tariff effects on steel and aluminum. Price weakness was the indication from June’s import price data. Import prices fell 0.4 percent which is outside analysts’ low estimates.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment is due out later this morning and should give a snapshot directly related to the strength of consumer spending.

Overnight:

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.6 percent,
  • Japan’s Topix index closed 1.2 percent higher as the yen was the only G-10 currency to strengthen against the dollar.
  • China’s Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.2 percent.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index added 0.1 percent as of 5:55 a.m.
  • S&P 500 futures were flat

Banks kicked off the earnings season earlier this morning with JP Morgan posting record 2nd QT profits on better trading revenues and PNC Bank also reported better than expected, while Wells Fargo and Citigroup reporting weaker 2nd QT earnings.

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