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Market Insights / Don's Notebook

Don’s Notebook February 15, 2018

By Don Pratl

Yesterday’s rally in the S&P 500 Index, which closed higher for a fourth day of gains yesterday, helped global stocks overnight.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.5 percent in a broad rally, while Japan’s Topix index ended the session 1 percent higher despite continuing gains for the yen.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index gained 0.9 percent by 5:45 a.m. Eastern Time, with Airbus trading as much as 10 percent after presenting a better-than-expected earnings outlook.

Initial jobless claims data posted at 8:30 a.m. ET showing that claims remain near historic lows consistent with strong demand for labor. Initial claims came in at 230,000 for the February 10 week with the 4-week average at 228,500. These levels are roughly 15,000 lower than they were at this time last month in a comparison that points to strength for the February employment report.

Also at 8:30 a.m., U.S. PPI figures for January were released showing, visible but still contracted signs of pressure headline January’s Producer Price report where total prices hit the high end of expectations at a 0.4 percent monthly gain.

Mining has been strong, manufacturing soft, and utilities up-and-down in an industrial production report where weakness was the report for January.

The Federal Reserve’s “H.4.1″ weekly report showing a consolidated balance sheet for all 12 Reserve Banks will be released at 4:30 ET.

Q4 earning announcements continue today. Notable names include:

  • Arista Networks
  • CBS
  • CommScope Holding
  • Incyte
  • Shopify
  • Waste Management
  • Zoetis

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