Upping the Ante

The shot heard around the world in the ever-escalating trade war was fired last night by Donald Trump, threatening to impose another $200 billion of tariffs on American consumers wishing to buy Chinese goods. This followed the $50 billion in tariffs.  And, remember, when Trump announced the first $50 billion tax on Chinese goods, he threatened that if China retaliated by taxing its own citizens, that Trump would up the ante with even more taxes on American citizens, although he did not use those terms. He’s acting as if the guns are pointed in the other direction. But, the Chinese, of course, not to lose face, immediately went tit for tat with Trump and now Trump had no choice but to follow through with $200 billion more in taxes.  Now, I guess the ball is in China’s court. We’ll see where they take it.

Dow Closed Down for Sixth Consecutive Day

The markets obviously didn’t take it very well.  They sold off.  In fact, the decline in the U.S., as seems to be typical, was much more muted than the reaction was around the world. The Dow was down, it closed down for the 6th consecutive day. This was the longest losing streak for the Dow since March of 2017; down 287.  The lows were down about 415-430 or so, but not that big a decline. And the Russell 2000 was up again. Another all time high.  I think on the 6 days that the Dow has been down, the Russell 2000 has only been down 2 of those days. So it keeps going up, and this shows you that traders have convinced themselves that America is going to win the trade war – or at least, take the fewest casualties. Because the reason that the Russell 2000 is doing better than the Dow or the S&P is that you don’t have the multi-nationals.

Trump: Greatest Economy in the History of the World

The theory is that the domestic economy can easily weather the trade war.  That it is no big deal, that trade is a small part of the U.S. economy, and so we have nothing to worry about! But if you are worried, well maybe worry about the multinationals that stand to lose, so just focus on all these small companies that are benefitting and basking in the glow of the greatest economy in the history of the world, and if you don’t believe it, just ask President Trump.