Money

Strong Jobs and Earnings Trump Tariffs and Geopolitics

The market landscape of the past couple weeks has been fraught with headline risk that has resulted in several big moves in many asset classes and key stocks that tend to dominate investor sentiment.

I think the most notable event has been the sudden decline in the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury moving from 3.11% to 2.82% over the 10 trading sessions. The flight to safety was a result of the spike in yields in the Italian bond market when fears erupted that a snap referendum election would take place to determine if that country would leave the euro currency.

As if that piece of news wasn’t enough to rattle markets, President Trump announced the levying of steel and aluminum tariffs targeting Europe, Canada and Mexico in reaction to foot-dragging on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and fair-trade talks with European Union (EU) officials. Although the size of the tariffs is small in comparison with the $18 trillion U.S. economy, it sends a message that a possible trade war with China might be in the offing if current negotiations don’t progress well.

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