Ok, so The Big Lebowski turned 20 on Tuesday and when it comes to this administration’s stance on trade with China and also on the North Korea “problem”, we’re reminded of this moment:
Am I wrong? Am I wrong?
No, Mr. President, you’re not (entirely) wrong, you’re just an asshole.
If you’re trying to make sense of things on Tuesday, I’ve got some bad news for you: you’re on your own. Because no one knows what the fuck is going on, least of all Donald Trump.
North Korea is apparently ready to talk about denuclearization and here’s Trump’s “definitive” take:
President Trump on North Korea reportedly being willing to talk to the US about giving up nuclear weapons.
"That would be a great thing for the world …. so we'll see how it all comes about." pic.twitter.com/tOChyLaSqW
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 6, 2018
Yes, “we’ll see how it all comes out.” So, “there might still be a nuclear war and there might not, I don’t know. We’ll see.”
As far as the tariffs go, that’s a complete clusterfuck. Gary Cohn is trying to organize a meeting in the interest of convincing Trump this is a horrible idea. You can read the whole story on that here, but suffice to say Gary has invited executives that depend on steel and aluminum to a meeting with Trump in what Bloomberg describes as “a last-ditch effort” to halt the tariffs.
Meanwhile, Trump is convinced that Gary is going to quit if the tariffs end up coming to fruition. And guess what? He doesn’t give a shit:
The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2018
For his part, Mnuchin is being Mnuchin.
Chuck Schumer called Trump’s instincts to go after China “the right thing to do,” but went on to note that the plan is “likely to have greater negative effect on Canada and Europe than China.” Goldman said the same thing on Tuesday.
Europe is of course furious and lawmakers are concerned. Mitch, for instance, is worried the Europeans are going to slap tariffs on Kentucky Bourbon:
- MCCONNELL: A LOT OF CONCERN AMONG GOP SENATORS ABOUT TRADE WAR
- MCCONNELL SAYS SENATORS URGING CAUTION ON TRUMP TARIFF DECISION
Paul Ryan is worried about the Hogs.
- RYAN SAYS HE’S `ENCOURAGED’ CAN GET TO GOOD PLACE ON
- RYAN SAYS TRUMP KNOWS LAWMAKERS’ VIEW ON TARIFFS
Stocks aren’t worried about anything apparently as U.S. equities held up again today in the face of competing headlines and all manner of geopolitical confusion. At one point, David Perdue suggested Trump might be softening his tone on the tariffs and that seemed to give stocks a boost midday. You can see that headline as well as the North Korea news in futs:
The dollar fell on the North Korea news as risk appetite picked up:
S&P sitting between its 50 and 100-DMA:
IG yields now the highest since 2011:
Note this from Lisa:
— Michael P. Regan (@Reganonymous) March 6, 2018
Oil was flat on the session (basically) and gold was higher (weaker dollar):
European shares ended the day flat, although I guess it’s worth noting that Italian stocks rose sharply in the second trading day since the inconclusive election:
If there were trade concerns in Asia, they were not evident on Tuesday. Japanese shares were sharply higher, aggressively paring losses from last week:
In Hong Kong, the Hang Sang had a banner session, surging more than 2% after shedding 3.7% over the previous two trading days:
Finally, for your moment of zen (because I couldn’t resist even though I’ve most assuredly been there so I sympathize)…