The Fed, Trade War and Stocks -- Not Much Juice Left in the Tank in 2019?

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The U.S. stock market loves to rally when there's positive trade news and sell-off when there's negative trade news. This can feel like no-man's land. 

Mix in the possibility of two Federal Reserve rate cuts, and it takes some figuring to estimate where stocks are going to end 2019. 

"We're actually, I think, out of no-man's land -- we're at the top of the range," said Shawn Cruz, TD Ameritrade trading strategy manager. He noted that, while August has seen its sell-offs related to global economic growth fears, there S&P 500 bottoms at roughly 2,830 and tops at around 2,945. The sell-offs have certainly made their appearances, but so have the rallies. The volatility index (VIX) is above 17, and the S&P 500 is down 0.56% in the past month. 

But where are stocks going to close out 2019? Well, investors must weigh potentially added tariffs from both the U.S. and China against potentially two interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve. 

"I think it {rate cuts} can help buoy stocks a little bit, so I would say flat to slightly positive, but I don't think you're going to see a very strong or broad-based rally unless we get an actually resolution or at least a significant dialing back of a lot of these tariffs," Cruz said. 

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