A month after the U.S. Commerce Department banned one of China's biggest tech companies, ZTE, from exporting U.S. products, President Trump announced his willingness to help the company get back in business
Investors kicked off 2018 on a positive note sending U.S. stocks to fresh highs on the first trading day. The optimistic approach on day one was supported by encouraging economic data from China, where the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for December beat expectations by coming in at 51.5 versus expectations of 50.6.
With only two trading sessions remaining for 2017, liquidity dried up across the global markets. This has been obvious in U.S. and European equities, where volumes dropped significantly. However, some investors continued to tweak their portfolios slightly, leading to insignificant price action. I don’t expect equities to deviate much throughout Thursday and Friday.
U.S. equity traders are in a wait-and-see mode. President Trump will meet senators today at their weekly policy lunch, to ensure that Republicans are on the same page regarding the tax system overhaul. I firmly believe that U.S. legislative tax reforms are strongly “priced in” the U.S. markets, thus if significant tax reforms do not pass, I expect a substantial decline in major indices, particularly in small caps.
Despite a record-high close on the S&P 500 last Friday, Asian equities edged lower, led by Korean markets. Chinese stocks continued to decline after having the biggest one-day selloff in 17 months on Thursday, as rising government and corporate bond yields signaled tighter liquidity conditions.