Don’s Notebook February 1, 2018

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So many market questions today. Melt-up? Melt-down? Normal? The DJIA fell 540 points on Monday and Tuesday and had a pretty wild day on Wednesday but ended closing 73 points higher.

Janet Yellen’s last Federal Reserve meeting produced a unanimous decision to keep rates unchanged, while setting up a likely interest-rate increase at Jerome Powell’s first meeting as chair next month. Price Headley discussed the market’s expectations for rate increases during today’s Morning Market Briefing.

Wages have been a recurring theme this week since Monday with personal income, then Wednesday with the employment cost index, and perhaps today with the cost half of the productivity and costs report where moderate pressure is the consensus call.

This morning the Challenger January layoff count released at 7:30:00 AM for Jan, 2018 rose more than 15,000. The Initial Jobless claims Report totaled a modest 230,000 in the January 27 week following a revised 231,000 in the prior week.

Tech company earnings announcements on tap today include GOOGL, BABA, AMZN and AAPL

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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.