Don’s Notebook May 9, 2018

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Don’s Notebook May 9, 2018

Producer prices open three straight days of inflation data. Today’s announcement, the Producer Price Index (PPI) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a family of indexes that measures the average change over time in the prices received by domestic producers of goods and services.

  • Prices are up for steel and aluminum but overall wholesale prices proved subdued in April.
    • Steel products rose a steep 3.2 percent in April vs a 1.9 percent rise in March when tariffs were first imposed, with aluminum up 1.8 percent in April after a 1.4 percent rise in March.
    • Year-on-year rates are very elevated: up 7.4 percent for steel and 11.9 percent for aluminum.
    • The headline increase of 0.1 percent was in line with analyst expectations.
  • When excluding food, (where prices fell 1.1 percent), and energy, (which inched only 0.1 percent higher), producer prices did show a 0.2 percent increase.

Overnight markets were mixed:

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.3 percent.
  • Japan’s Topix index closed 0.4 percent lower despite the yen weakening against the dollar.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent higher at 5:45 a.m. with energy-related shares by far the best performers on the back of rising crude prices.
  • S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open and gold slipped.

Earnings today include: Softbank Group, Marriott International, Siemens, Toyota Motor, Liberty Media, Mylan, Glaukos and Vitamin Shoppe.

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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.