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Market Insights / Don's Notebook

Don’s Notebook February 16, 2018

By Don Pratl

The strengthening recovery across U.S. equities — the S&P 500 Index capped its best five-day run since 2011 yesterday — continues to set the tone for global benchmarks.

Overnight Thursday/early Friday Morning:

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7 percent ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday.
  • Japan’s Topix index closed 1 percent higher after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended Haruhiko Kuroda as head of Bank of Japan for another five-year term.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was trading higher with energy shares leading a broad rebound.

Government Reports Today:

  • The consensus for January housing starts 1.232 million annualized rate vs 1.192 million in December with housing permits seen at a 1.300 million rate which would be unchanged from December’s revised result (1.302 million initially reported).

Import/Export Prices:

  • The export side shows strength, up 0.8 percent overall.
  • Import prices were stronger than expected – 1.0 percent in January.
  • Non-petroleum prices rose an unusually strong 0.5 percent.
  • 0.5 percent price jump for imported vehicles.
  • Higher prices for imported food & beverages.

Reports later Today:

  • 10am – The University of Michigan February Consumer Sentiment report.
  • 1pm – the latest Baker Hughes Report, showing the number of active operating oil & gas rigs, is due. Last week’s report showed the biggest jump in a year.

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