Don’s Notebook April 5, 2018

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Tariffs are aimed at stemming the nation’s giant trade deficit, an outcome that would help the net-export component of the GDP report.

Today’s data will track February’s deficit and offer a look at cross-border trade going into the metal tariffs of March.

  • The nation’s trade deficit increased to $57.6 billion in February.
  • The goods gap widened 0.4 percent in the month to $77.0 billion.
  • The services surplus narrowed 3.1 percent to $19.4 billion.

The US Labor Department released the Weekly Jobless Claims report this morning.

  • Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 242,000 for the week ended March 31.
  • Data for the prior week were revised to show 3,000 more claims received than previously reported.

Additionally, the Challenger Job-Cut Report that came out this morning showed:

  • Layoff announcements increased in March, to 60,357 from 35,369 in February.
  • The Retail sector totaled 35,042 followed in the distance by Telecommunications at 4,056.

Monsanto will report quarterly earnings today.

The Fed Balance Sheet report and the Money Supply are reported after the market closes this afternoon.

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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.