Don’s Notebook August 10, 2018

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Stocks opened lower today because of geopolitical concerns that pushed the Turkish lira to a record low against the dollar. An already bad week for Turkey’s currency got a whole lot worse this morning when the lira plunged as much as 13.5 % to reach a new all-time low of 6.3005 to the dollar.

  • Worries spread to Euro-area lenders after reports that the European Central Bank is becoming concerned about the exposure of some of the region’s banks to Turkey.

Today’s Consumer prices rose slightly over last month rising 0.2 % for the overall index as well as for the core (ex-food ex-energy). Year-on-year rates also increased by 2 tenth for each, at 2.9 % for the overall, which was expected, but exceeding the range of expectations at 2.4 % for the core.

  • An upward surprise for the CPI would have reignited inflation expectations fueled by a tight labor market and the imposition of import tariffs.

The Baker-Hughes Rig Count is due today at 1:00 PM ET

  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count tracks weekly changes in the number of active operating oil & gas rigs. Changes in rig counts point to changes in the supply of oil & gas.

Overnight Market Notes:

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.1 %
  • Japan’s Topix index closed 1.2 % lower despite second-quarter GDP coming in ahead of expectations.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.9 % lower, with banks and miners among the biggest losers in a broad-based selloff.

Earnings Notes:

Today’s Notable earnings announcements include Meredith Corp., Samsung Life Insurance and Semiconductor Manufacturing International.

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David Russell is VP of Market Intelligence at TradeStation Group. Drawing on nearly two decades of experience as a financial journalist and analyst, his background includes equities, emerging markets, fixed-income and derivatives. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, CNBC and E*TRADE Financial. Russell systematically reviews countless global financial headlines and indicators in search of broad tradable trends that present opportunities repeatedly over time. Customers can expect him to keep them appraised of sector leadership, relative strength and the big stories – especially those overlooked by other commentators. He’s also a big fan of generating leverage with options to limit capital at risk.