Don’s Notebook May 23, 2018

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New homes have been one of the strongest areas of the economy, however today’s April New Homes Sales Report is expected to show a decrease from the March total.

  • A related announcement from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association already out is that purchase applications for home mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 2 percent in the May 18 week, conceivably due to rising interest rates.

Global equity markets are under pressure this morning as investors reassess geopolitical risks and digest some disappointing data.

  • Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.4 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.7 percent lower as the yen rallied.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 1.0 percent lower at 5:40 a.m. Eastern Time as the risk-off mood hit the region where investors were already cautious due to continued Italian political risks.
  • S&P 500 futures pointed to a drop at the open,
  • The 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.017 percent and gold was higher.

At 2pm ET, The Federal Open Market Committee will issue Minutes from its meeting of three weeks ago.

  • How investors view the minutes will factor into pricing forecasts of either three or four interest rate hikes this year.

Retailers that are issuing earnings announcements today include: L Brands, Lowe’s and Target.

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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.