Don’s Notebook April 10, 2018

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Will the first impact of March’s steel and aluminum tariffs appear in today’s producer price report? Wall Street consensus calls for only a marginal 0.1 percent gain. Stay tuned…

Small business optimism cooled more substantially than expected in March after approaching 45-year highs in February, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

  • The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 2.9 points in March to 104.7, the lowest reading since October but still in the top 5 percent of survey readings.
  • Leading the monthly index lower and below consensus estimates were declines in expectations that the economy will improve, which were down 11 points to a still high net 32 percent, and an 8-point drop to a net 20 percent in expectations of higher real sales.

Chinese President Takes Conciliatory Tone on Trade allowing Markets ally

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech yesterday implied that open dialogue is the way to resolve disputes.
  • Xi pledged a “new phase of opening up” the Chinese economy, in a speech that did not mention President Trump by name.

FB CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify in front of a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees today over the company’s protection of user data.

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