January 11, 2018
Wal-mart is raising wages and joining a building list of corporate giants that are passing on savings from this year's tax cut. These wage increases should give a badly needed boost to the nation's wage growth which has been subdued and is partly behind the economy's weak inflation readings. Today's producer prices, like yesterday's import and export price report, were unusually soft especially for service prices which are considered a barometer of fundamental price pressure. Expectations for tomorrow's consumer price report were already subdued even before the latest reports with Econoday's consensus at a 0.1 percent gain overall and a 0.2 percent increase for the core (ex-food and ex-energy).
Markets showed energy in the session including stocks where the Dow posted a very strong 0.8 percent gain to a new record 25,574. The dollar index fell a sharp 0.5 percent to 91.90 as the euro, at $1,2032, posted strong gains following central-bank minutes that hint at less accommodation from the ECB. Oil held steady near $63 and gold near $1,320 while rates were little changed.