Don’s Notebook May 3, 2018

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Don’s Notebook May 3, 2018

March looks to have been a very good month for the trade balance, the month when tariffs and trade wars first hit the news.

  • The trade deficit fell in March to $49.0 billion with the Chinese deficit, narrowing to $25.9 billion from February’s $29.3 billion.
  • Import tariffs on steel and aluminum were imposed late in the month but they didn’t slow steel imports which rose to $2.8 billion compared to $2.2 billion in February.

Initial jobless claims came in at 211,000 during the week of April 28th, only 2,000 higher from the prior week’s 209,000 which remains a 49-year low. New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time.

  • The major data point for the U.S. economy is due tomorrow when the April jobs report is released.

The FOMC statement yesterday included the decision to hold rates in place.

  • Comments in the FOMC announcement reflected a relaxed approach toward reaching its 2 percent target.

The European Central Bank reported an unexpected drop in headline consumer-price growth to 1.2 percent, while core inflation dropped to 0.7 percent, the weakest in more than a year.

Earnings announcements today include: AIG, Ferrari, Cigna, Blue Apron Holdings, Treehouse Foods and Kellogg.

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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.