Market Morning: Trump vs Xi, Ali, & Powell, Bank of America Sees $30 Oil

Market Morning

Trump, Xi, to Meet on Saturday As Global Economy Hangs In Balance

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President Trump will be meeting with China’s Xi Jinping this weekend, but won’t cow to any conditions on the use of tariffs, which raises the question of what the two will be talking about. One official said that an agreement not to raise more tariffs could be used as a goodwill gesture, but since the official has no idea what’s actually going on in Trump’s head, same as everybody, he doesn’t know if such a gesture will actually happen. The US apparently will accept no conditions but expect China to come back to the table with the same concession it agreed to before this whole thing blew up. Expectations are low, which could mean that Trump is trying to set the markets up for a huge move up if he is intentionally setting the bar low so as to manipulate asset prices higher. Such a possibility cannot be discounted. Meanwhile, Chinese stocks have been remarkably stable overall since 2008, with the exception of maybe the decline of 2015. They could fall below long term support of the trade war really erupts. (NYSEARCA:FXI)

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Bank Of America Calls $30 Oil If US China Trade Breaks Down

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is getting bearish on oil (NYSEARCA:USO), in the event that trade relations go south between the United States and China. If President Trump decides that China’s offer, whatever that ends up being, at the G20 summit is insufficient and not to his liking, he will declare all Chinese imports a national security threat, because a 1962 law allows him to do that, unilaterally, without any congressional backing…unless of course Congress decides to fight back and repeal that section of the Cold War era law. Or maybe someone could challenge it in the Supreme Court, or at least Trump’s justification for using it in order to extract trade concession rather than actually protect national security.

Bank of America sees the yuan weakening if Trump declares 25% tariffs on the rest of the $300 billion in Chinese imports, which would strengthen the dollar, which would bring oil down. This, in turn, could get China to ignore Iran sanctions completely, and start importing oil from Iran, which BofA says could weaken oil prices even further. Unless of course the US moves to stop China from breaking US sanctions, starting a conflict and perhaps Russia and China abandoning dollar trade, in which case the dollar could really get clobbered and everything would go in the opposite direction to what the big bank is now predicting. In conclusion, nobody knows what’s going to happen.

Apple Buy Self-Driving Car Startup

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has acquired self-driving starup, according to Axio and the San Francisco Chronicle. Apple hired a bunch of the employees, though about 90 will be layed off. Nobody knows how much Apple bought it for though. This comes after Apple has already laid off 190 employees in its self-driving car unit, so it’s unclear what Apple’s intentions are here. Nobody knows if Apple wants to try to build an actual self-driving car, or if it just wants to develop a few components, or maybe just an app that you put on your iPhone and plug into the cigarette lighter with a few sensors here and there and voila, self-driving car.

Trump Will Obliterate Iran, Iran Calls him Mentally Retarded

Iran is being so not PC. Perhaps they should check their privilege, because they’re about to get sued by advocates for special needs groups. The goings on is getting all the mainstream news agencies in a bind, since they really don’t want to write the slur down without using scare quotes. In any case, the scarier thing than scare quotes around politically incorrect language out of a totalitarian Islamic state, is that Trump has threatened to obliterate parts of said state if Iran attacked anything American. Maybe overcooking an apple pie applies, but nobody is quote sure. “Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration,” said Trump. In areas where overwhelming will not mean obliteration, it is unclear what will happen.

Trump signed off on additional sanctions on Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which mean practically nothing, because he doesn’t have any bank accounts in the US anyway, which is perhaps why Iran has compared the move to the learning disabled. In one of the more comforting and inspirational statements since the Gettysburg Address given seven score and 16 years ago, Trump said, “Whatever they want to do, I’m ready.” Good to know. Everything should be fine then.

Powell Signals He’s Independent from Trump

Using slightly more politically correct language and refraining from incendiary remarks against disabled people, Powell basically said the same thing as Supreme Leader Ayatolla Ali Khamenei, namely that Trump’s remarks against him are beneath dignified interaction. “Congress chose to insulate the Fed this way because it had seen the damage that often arises when policy bends to short-term political interests,” Powell said during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Central banks in major democracies around the world have similar independence.” In other words, asking Trump to stop bothering him all the time with tweets about lower interest rates, because he’s going to do what he thinks is best, being politically independent, even though he was appointed by a politician.

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