Silence Is Golden

Things calmed down a bit on Wall Street Thursday, presumably because the Trump administration decided it might be a good idea to try and avoid sending all manner of mixed messages on trade.

The last several days have been defined by a bewildering series of soundbites from Mnuchin, Kudlow, and Navarro, none of whom seem to be on the same page.

One person whose message hasn’t changed is Donald Trump, who said this on Wednesday evening at a characteristically batshit rally in North-fucking-Dakota:

  • TRUMP IN N.D. VOWS U.S. WILL FINISH `TRADE WAR’ IT DIDN’T START

That’s more reality distortion. The U.S. absolutely started a trade war. You can argue about whether or not that move was justified if you want, but for the umpteenth time, here’s that chart from Goldman that shows you how, over the course of the last six months, token tariffs on residential washing machines have somehow mushroomed into the threat of a cartoonish $800 billion in total perspective:

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 In any event, U.S. stocks were higher, led by tech. Small caps underperformed. Notably, the financials snapped a 13-session losing streak:

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The curve flattened, with the 5s30s now below 25bps (or, just off cycle lows from earlier this month):

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European shares were lower again, in part due to comments Trump made at the same rally mentioned above. Specifically, he called out BMW and Mercedes (again). And so, the SXAP fell another 2.2% and looks like it’s in a bear market. The index has fallen in nine of the ten sessions since the Draghi bounce:

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12-week low for the DAX:

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European tech shares were crushed on Thursday, falling 2.5%:

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The Argentine peso was “at it again” (to employ a Trumpism), closing at a new record low of 28.12:

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