Don’s Notebook July 13, 2018

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In an interview Thursday on American Public Media’s “Marketplace” program, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy but warned a sustained period of high tariffs on a wide variety of imports could be harmful to growth.

Import prices offered the latest on cross-border inflation and tariff effects on steel and aluminum. Price weakness was the indication from June’s import price data. Import prices fell 0.4 percent which is outside analysts’ low estimates.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment is due out later this morning and should give a snapshot directly related to the strength of consumer spending.

Overnight:

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.6 percent,
  • Japan’s Topix index closed 1.2 percent higher as the yen was the only G-10 currency to strengthen against the dollar.
  • China’s Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.2 percent.
  • In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index added 0.1 percent as of 5:55 a.m.
  • S&P 500 futures were flat

Banks kicked off the earnings season earlier this morning with JP Morgan posting record 2nd QT profits on better trading revenues and PNC Bank also reported better than expected, while Wells Fargo and Citigroup reporting weaker 2nd QT earnings.

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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.