Don’s Notebook May 31, 2018

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The US Department of Commerce released its most closely watched of all inflation gauges, the core Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index (PCE).

  • Income rose 0.3 percent in April but the wages & salaries component shows a 0.4 percent gain.
  • Spending jumped 0.6 percent in the month led, however, by a 0.9 percent gain for nondurables which reflects April’s rise in gas prices.

U.S. Department of Labor, Initial Jobless Claims report showed claims remain steady at are consistent with a strong demand for labor.

  • Initial claims fell 13,000 in the week of May 26th to 221,000 with the 4-week average up slightly to 222,250.
  • Continuing claims in lagging data for the May 19 week fell 16,000 to 1.726 million with this 4-week average also down slightly, to 1.744 million.
  • The unemployment rate for insured workers remains at 1.2 percent.

The National Association of Realtors posted pending-home-sales data for April showing a decline of 1.3 percent to 106.4 in April from an upwardly revised 107.8 in March.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index was also released this morning and showed a 5.1 points increase.

  • New orders, which had been slowing, are re-accelerating with backlog orders likewise rebounding.
  • Production picked up in the month as did employment which, however, continues to be held back by lack of available labor.

Earning reports today include: Dollar Tree, American Eagle Outfitters, Costco Wholesale, Ciena, Express, VMware, Workday and Ulta Beauty.

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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.