Don’s Notebook May 18, 2018

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Don’s Notebook May 18, 2018

There are no scheduled government reports expected today so this afternoon’s Baker Hughes Rig Count is the most significant market driver. Observers will be looking for cues on the possibility of recent run-up in activity toward 2015 highs continuing when the data are released at 1:00 p.m. ET.

  • With oil now over $70, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count, which is generally considered to be an accurate, could climb.

President Trump’s chief NAFTA negotiator said yesterday that Mexico, the U.S. and Canada are “nowhere near close to a deal” to update the region’s free-trade pact.

  • Primary issues include: the Canadian dairy market, regional car construction, and Trump’s demands to shrink the U.S. trade deficit.
  • Negotiations will continue in Washington on Monday.

Overnight Markets were mixed:

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent
  • Japan’s Topix index closed 0.4 percent higher with gains led by energy and insurance companies.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.1 percent lower at 5:50 a.m. ET,
  • Italian stocks the stand-out underperformer as the benchmark gauge in Milan dropped more than 1 percent.
  • S&P 500 futures pointed to a higher open.
  • The 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.100 percent and gold was lower.

Notable Earnings Conference Calls Today: Apollo Investment, AstraZeneca, Campbell Soup and Deere.

Fed Speakers today:

  • Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Fed Governor Lael Brainard are both scheduled to speak at 9:15 ET in different locations.
  • In a speech earlier this morning, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester warned against dismantling core banking reforms.

If you are Royal Watcher there is the matter of Prince Harry’s wedding to actress Megan Markle tomorrow morning in London.

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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.