U.S. stocks were green once again on Thursday after China released news that it will cut tariffs in half on a plethora of U.S. products. Healthy corporate earnings results and robust economic data also pushed major indexes to reach fresh highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average led the charge, with a move 100 points higher, or 0.35%, with the S&P 500 following suit, gaining a similar 0.34%. Meanwhile the Nasdaq attempted to retest its high from Wednesday and gained 0.62%.
China announced overnight it will slash tariffs on U.S. imports totaling about $75 billion, a decision China’s finance ministry said was timed as part of the U.S. decision last month to halve tariffs on approximatley $120 billion worth of Chinese products. Tariffs on certain U.S. goods will be cut from 10% to 5%, and from 5% to 2.5% on others, taking effect on Valentine’s Day.
Last week stocks were crushed amid fears that the fast-spreading coronavirus would hamper global economic growth. However, the major U.S. stock indexes have surged this week to recover those losses and reach new highs.
“The sling shot from last Friday’s lows has happened quickly, showing us that dip buying remains strong,” said Frank Cappelleri, executive director at Instinet.
Still, with the coronavirus still spreading, and now having claimed 563 lives with more than 28,000 cases confirmed, JPMorgan strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou is not ready to sound the all-clear just yet.
“Despite this week’s equity market rebound we are reluctant to chase short-term momentum,” Panigirtzoglou said in a note to clients. “Instead we tactically trim the risk of our portfolio further and recommend a more modest equity overweight.”
“Although we recognize that the peak in the rate of increase in the number of new coronavirus cases appears to be behind us as containment measures thus far appear to have been effective, this could change as factories reopen in China and more people come in contact with each other,” said the strategist. “In other words, there is a significant risk of an unexpected re-acceleration of new coronavirus cases.”
With a bull market seemingly still in play, investors looking who are looking to enter markets using ETFs can consider broad market ETFs like the Schwab US Broad Market ETF (SCHB) or the The Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) which concentrate on the total stock market.
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