Don’s Notebook February 15, 2018

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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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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.