President Donald Trump is darn close to slapping a 10% tariff on an additional $200 billion on Chinese goods.
The market appears to dig that the 10% rate isn't the threatened 25% -- stock futures aren't falling out of bed on the news. But maybe the market should be more concerned at the full-blown trade war.
Higher prices from the tariffs already in effect are starting to trickle through the U.S. economy. How consumers will respond is an unknown at this point, but if trips to Walmart (WMT) cost $30 more in October it's reasonable to expect adjustments by shoppers. Emerging market stocks are in the toilet. China's Shanghai Composite Index closed Monday at the lowest level since 2014. Yet the U.S. market remains upbeat: Transports and small-cap stocks continue to rock. Earnings estimates on the S&P 500
Investors are ignoring Trump at their own risk. The administration's trade actions warrant being priced into many areas of the market, and as a result the market has to adjust.
What do you expect when your singular duty as a CEO is to boost shareholder value? For the first time in 10 years, stock buybacks are accounting for the largest share of cash spending by S&P 500 firms, said Goldman Sachs. Buybacks surged by 48% to $384 billion during the first half of the year. Despite the insane buyback levels, companies are still tossing the economy a bone via decent capex spending. S&P 500 capex during the first half rose by 19% to $341 billion, Goldman Sachs noted. Alphabet (GOOGL) more than doubled capex to $13 billion and accounted for 13% of the increase in S&P 500's capex in the first half. That type of spending by Alphabet -- aggressive as a means to widen competitive advantages -- is why you buy the stock and hold it for the next 50 years. Well, that and that it's unlikely a five-year old is currently working on a Google search rival while under his or her blankie. All in all, it's highly unlikely this pace of buybacks continues into year-end. In turn, the market will lose a key prop that could bring on the bears.
Salesforce (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne will be the proud owners of Time magazine in 30 days. All it cost was $190 million. Must be nice. Staying on the topic of Salesforce, TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer remains bullish on the Action Alerts PLUS holding. In fact, Cramer said he thinks your children should be fluent in Salesforce if they want to be successful.
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Good op-ed by my pal Peter Tanuous, chairman of Lynx Investment Advisory. Tanuous discussed why your portfolio may not be doing much this year despite solid gains in the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average