Happy Hump Day.
In the spirit of avoiding politics, let's examine the notion that the stock market's strength is based on earnings and not prospects for Trumpian policy nostrums, if "policy" is the right way to describe a one-page plan to cut taxes, for instance. OK, then, is the strength of corporate earnings really not reflected in current prices, as many analysts insist, and therefore cause for optimism that the rally will continue no matter what goes on in Washington? That's hard to square with a price to earnings measure adjusted by Yale's Robert Schiller for cyclicality, which shows we're well on our way to previous market tops. (Yes, we know, "it's different this time.")
And there's no avoiding talking about some policies.
Take trade, and the president's threats to curb imports from China, Mexico, Canada and Germany, to name a few countries he's deemed to be problematic for the U.S. economy at one point or another. As Caroline Freund of the Peterson Institute explains at voxeu.org, the trade deficit is a function of macroeconomics, not barriers. And Neil Williams of Hermes Investment Management warns that protectionism may be a zero sum game since it could lead to the sort of inflation that would prompt the Fed to tighten more than expected. In that case, the market would really look overextended at current price levels.
Job movers: In careers, ETF veteran Jon Maier is leaving Merrill Lynch for Global X Management, while Ali Eid Al Mheiri and Marwan Naim Nijmeh have joined International Petroleum Investment Company; Edward Mueller will join McKesson (MCK) , Sven Bozuwa, Axel Wehtje and Piers Dennison have signed up with Park Square Capital, Mark Jung has joined Berkshire Partners and Ash Upadhyaya has done the same at Centerbridge Partners.
Apple (AAPL) still in focus after mixed responses on Wall Street to its WWDC.
Tesla's (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday evening the company wants to build three more battery plants in the U.S.
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