Markets were lower on Thursday as trade war concerns held back gains. Earnings season is now center stage.

International Business Machines  (IBM) - Get International Business Machines (IBM) Report   shares were up after second-quarter earnings topped Wall Street estimates.

Also, Comcast (CMCSA) - Get Comcast Corporation Class A Report  dropped its bid for Twenty-First Century Fox's (FOXA) - Get Fox Corporation Class A Report  media assets.

Here are three top takes from the columnists of Real Money and Real Money Pro, our premium sites for Wall Street professionals and active investors:

Jim Cramer: For Now, Let's Just Put Tariffs In the Yellow Flag Camp

"It doesn't wreck the landscape, but it sure makes it harder. I am talking about the endless drumbeat of tariff news and how you just never know anymore how they are going to impact companies," writes TheStreet's Jim Cramer.

"As we get into the heart of earnings season we are now getting an almost obligatory question about tariff impact and what it means. It's like shadow boxing. I understand it, "adds Cramer.

Nucor Reports Strong Results, but Faces Uncertainty Over Tariffs

"This morning Nucor Corp. (NUE) - Get Nucor Corporation Report , the U.S.'s largest steel producer, reported June quarter results that saw its EPS soar to $2.13 per share, beating consensus estimates of $2.09 per share," notes Real Money Pro columnist Christopher Versace.

"With President Trump announcing a 25% tariff on imported steel, as well as a 10% tariff on aluminum, from China, Canada and the EU back in March, we've seen a sharp move higher in steel prices as well as other building materials such as lumber, drywall and concrete.

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"What's more noteworthy," says Versace, "particularly on the heels of aluminum producer Alcoa (AA) - Get Alcoa Corp. Report  cutting its profit forecast for the back half of 2018, is that Nucor did not."

Stocks Are Invariably Better Than Bonds

"Long-term subscribers to Real Money Pro have heard me speak many times about the need to stay fully invested in stocks while avoiding the performance drag of fixed income vehicles and cash," says Real Money Pro columnist Paul Price.

"Recent data from Bespoke Investment Group confirmed the correctness of those sentiments."

(Nucor and Comcast are holdings in Jim Cramer's

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