Don’s Notebook March 14, 2018

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Today’s retail sales report offered the first indications on the strength of consumer spending in February. The US Census Bureau report showed that the job market may be high and confidence near long-term time highs, but the consumer is not on a spending spree. Retailers missed analysts’ expectations, at minus 0.1 percent in February vs Wall Street consensus for a 0.4 percent gain and a low estimate for a 0.1 percent gain.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index report was also released earlier today and showed prices at the wholesale level proved soft in February, up an as-expected 0.2 percent and down from January’s 0.4 percent gain. Year-on-year, producer prices rose 1 tenth to 2.8 percent which is still down from the 3.1 percent rate hit late last year.

The NFIB will report its Small Business Optimism index today and a slight increase is expected for February.

HD Supply Holdings, Dicks Sporting Goods and DSW report quarterly results today.

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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.