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Technically Speaking For The Week Of April 9-13

Hale Stewart profile picture
Hale Stewart


  • The markets are still confused about trade policy.
  • The Fed is in a tightening mode.
  • The markets may be poised to rally soon.

Let's review the somewhat twisted path that has been the plight of international trade deals over the last 16 or so months. One of the president's first actions was to have the US leave the TPP. He had promised this during the campaign, so this decision was not much of a shock. The trade issue lay fallow until about a month ago, when, after passing a budget that would lead to a budget deficit of over $1 trillion, Trump jumped full-force back into the international trade ruckus by saying he would hit Chinese imports with about $50 billion in tariffs. After a Chinese counter-threat, he later upped this amount by another $100 billion. The Chinese again threatened to retaliate by imposing their own set of tariffs - but on goods that were sent directly from the American heartland, which also, coincidentally, were largely filled with Trump voters. Finally, Trump comes full circle and says the US should seek a way to re-enter the TPP as a way to open up new markets for US farmers. It's almost like we never should have left the deal in the first place.

This week, the Federal Reserve released its latest Meeting Minutes - the first of the Powell era. The FOMC did take note of the trade issue:

A number of participants reported concern among their business contacts about the possible ramifications of the recent imposition of tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Participants did not see the steel and aluminum tariffs, by themselves, as likely to have a significant effect on the national economic outlook, but a strong majority of participants viewed the prospect of retaliatory trade actions by other countries, as well as other issues and uncertainties associated with trade policies, as downside risks for the U.S. economy. Contacts in the agricultural sector reported feeling particularly vulnerable to

This article was written by

Hale Stewart profile picture
Hale Stewart spent 5 years as a bond broker in the late 1990s before returning to law school in the early 2000s. He is currently a tax lawyer in Houston, Texas. He has an LLM in domestic and international taxation (MagnaCumLaude). He is the author of the book The Lifetime Income Security Solution. Follow me on Twitter at @originalbonddadYou can read his legal analysis on his law office's blog.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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