Reduced Tensions with China Unlikely in New Year

The new year brings hope in business and liberal/establishment circles that tensions between the United States and the People's Republic of China are "de-escalating."  President Donald Trump will sign the Phase One trade agreement with China on January 15 and travel to Beijing to personally conduct Phase Two talks in the near future.  This kind of news was credited in the mainstream media for the end-of-the-year stock market rally. However, the impact of a year-long "trade war" has been overrated.  Nervous market fluctuations have been subordinated to the larger trend based on the strength of the U.S. national economy, which is performing at levels not seen in decades.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 22%, the S&P 500 was up 28%, and the Nasdaq was up 35% (boosted by 48% gains in high-tech stocks) for the year.  It is more plausible to credit the robust performance in December to recognition that...(Read Full Article)
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