Don’s Notebook April 20, 2018

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A light schedule of new reports today may allow observers to refocus on recent inflationary signs including yesterday’s Philadelphia Fed report and tariff stress detailed in Wednesday’s Beige Book.

In the overnight markets:

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.8 percent,
  • Japan’s Topix index closed 0.1 percent higher as rising yields boosted insurers in the country.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was broadly unchanged amid a mixed bag of earnings, with Ericsson AB the stand-out performer.
  • S&P 500 futures lower overnight, reversed and pointed to a slight gain ahead of the NYSE open
  • Gold slipped in the pre-market.

The world’s finance ministers and central bankers meet this weekend in Washington at the International Monetary Fund, with trade tensions likely to dominate discussions.

Oil investors will watch the Baker Hughes rig count at 1:00 p.m. ET to see if higher crude prices help it maintain its recent strong run. The higher the rig count, the greater the upward pressure is on oil & gas supply and in turn the greater the downward pressure is on oil & gas prices.

Earnings Watch: It’s the turn of industry giants to release earnings today, with General Electric Co. and Honeywell International Inc. both reporting. Proctor & Gamble also reports earnings today. Charles Schwab has scheduled an investor update call.

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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.