Stocks plunged on Tuesday after President Donald Trump said he could wait on a China trade deal until after the 2020 election.
Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at the FTSE Russell, says the mid-December tariffs on deck are critical to the market.
“I think the market runup definitely has been predicated to a certain extent on at least some kind of a skinny deal … in exchange for perhaps some movement on intellectual property. When there was word that that had entered into the talks I know the market responded very favorably. Obviously, the Dec. 15 tariffs, waiving those or delaying them or moving them out of implementation, I think, is going to be expected.”
Eric Knutzen, multi-asset chief investment officer at Neuberger Berman, is waiting for a few developments into next year.
“Our expectation was that if there was a deal it was going to be a skinnier light deal, it was probably going to disappoint relative to what was priced into markets especially this latest run-up in equities, and that, in 2020, we were going to have to look for other drivers of positive market developments. We need to see a handoff from central banks to fiscal authorities. We need to see businesses start to invest instead of just relying on the consumer to drive the economy.”
James McGregor, chairman at APCO Worldwide, says China is in no rush to seal a deal.
“China’s very chill about this right now. I don’t feel a lot of pressure to have a deal quickly. I’ve been around a bunch of senior retired government officials the last couple of weeks through a couple of events, and they’re saying things like “this was inevitable, we knew this would happen sometime, we might as well have it now.” There’s talk that the next five-year plan that is underway is going to be focused quite a bit on decoupling and reducing their dependence on the U.S.”
Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” says the U.S. and China appear to have hit an impasse.
“We’re losing the upper hand. We are not going to be tough. And of course, that’s what the Chinese did on Saturday-Sunday, let the president know ‘we won’t even come to the table unless we get a rollback of tariffs.’ So now the president feels completely betrayed and so what does he do? He lashes out. Who can blame the guy? Hate him or like him, he was just once again betrayed by the soft-liners in the White House.”
David Kostin, chief U.S. equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, is still bullish.
“We certainly have a mercurial president. On different days, you have different tweets and commentary, so hard to forecast the vicissitudes of that, but if you look out and target the end of this year, the S&P 500 is 3,100, so we’re pretty much around that level. And if you look into next year, the backdrop of economic activity and growth suggests that profits will rise 5% to 6%, and that will support a U.S. equity market that will rise towards 3,400 at the end of next year, so that’s the general trajectory.”