Never a dull moment with President Dennison. If this were a reality TV show, the ratings would indeed be “tremendous”.
So Trump is right about that.
And ironically, the reason he’s right about that is precisely because he isn’t right about anything else. That is, there is nothing more entertaining than watching someone who is wrong about everything try and navigate the daily rigours of being President of the United States.
Wednesday got off to a decidedly harrowing start after China retaliated against the administration’s 301 tariffs following the USTR’s publication of affected products late Tuesday evening. Despite Wilbur Ross’s contention that Beijing’s response was “proportionate”, the soybean broadside was something of a surprise and as we detailed first thing Wednesday morning, “proportionality” isn’t really the issue here. Rather, the issue is that things are escalating rapidly and it looks like Beijing is zeroing in on Trump’s base ahead of the mid-terms. Consider this from Bloomberg:
China on Wednesday said it would issue 25 percent retaliatory levies on roughly $50 billion of U.S. imports, including soybeans, cars, chemicals and aircraft. These levies appear to be targeted at states, particularly in the Midwest, where Trump’s support is strongest. But, crucially, many of these states also have pivotal Senate and gubernatorial races in November. The economic blow from new tariffs could upend many of these races, potentially shifting control of statehouses and the U.S. Senate to Democrats.
Soybeans plunged on the China news:
Volume was off the charts:
yo… CBOT SOYBEAN VOLUME RISES TO ESTIMATED 728,539, 2ND MOST EVER
— Heisenberg Report (@heisenbergrpt) April 4, 2018
“A great deal of speculative length in soybeans and corn has been caught offside,” Saxo’s Ole Hansen said. Farmers are most assuredly not fucking amused.
Futures tell the truly amusing story for stocks:
That’s a 700+ point swing from the lows on the Dow.
Boeing sold off sharply in the premarket along with all manner of other names that stand to lose in a trade war scenario with China, but it aggressively trimmed its losses throughout the session:
And in case you hadn’t had enough trade news out of Trump for one day, we got this a half hour before the close:
- TRUMP IS SAID TO SOFTEN KEY NAFTA DEMAND ON AUTOMOTIVE CONTENT
That sent the loonie and the peso surging:
The dollar was whipsawed, falling when the China headlines hit overnight, rising when ADP beat and then moving largely sideways:
Gold surged overnight as the China headlines were coming in and then gave it all back as stocks recovered in the U.S.:
We got another round of negative Facebook headlines in the afternoon:
- FACEBOOK: UP TO 87M PPL’S DATA MAY HAVE BEEN IMPROPERLY SHARED
- FACEBOOK COMMENTS ON DATA SHARED BY CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA
That hit the shares briefly, but nothing too notable.
We got a break from the Amazon tweets today, but not from the Amazon-related news. The following headline has “shenanigans” written all the fuck over it in light of recent events and you can expect you haven’t heard the last of it:
- ORACLE’S CATZ SAID TO RAISE AMAZON CONTRACT FIGHT WITH TRUMP
European shares were of course closed by the time U.S. stocks started to pare losses in earnest and ultimately, equities across the pond logged their second straight day of losses. Basic resources are now down more than 2% on the week:
The yuan fell for a third day but did manage to pare losses as risk appetite picked up later in the U.S. session:
Finally, for your moment of zen, here is Sarah Huckabee Sanders explaining how “we know what we did and didn’t do” when it comes to colluding with a hostile foreign power…
Press Sec. Sanders to @jonkarl on reports special counsel told Pres. Trumpâ€™s attorneys that he is not a criminal target of Russia probe.
"We know what we did and what we didn't do, so none of this comes as much of a surprise." https://t.co/ikc1AyvHzA pic.twitter.com/aQY2YPbCyO
— ABC News (@ABC) April 4, 2018