In early December 2018, the capital markets breathed a sigh of relief as U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed to cease fire on their tariff-for-tariff battle, giving the markets hope that a year-end rally could ensue. December alone resulted in the Dow falling 8.7 percent and the S&P 500 losing 9 percent, making it the worst December since 1931.
The truce reached at the G-20 Summit didn’t quell investor fears as markets fretted on the notion that a trade deal can only materialize after lengthy discussions between the two economic superpowers. Furthermore, contentious topics like forced technology transfer and intellectual property could also derail negotiations.
Trump and Jinping met at the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires, putting global markets on pause as the two economic superpowers met to hopefully ameliorate their trade differences. As part of the agreement, both nations agreed to withhold imposing further tariffs on each other for 90 days while they work out a firm, ironclad deal.
The final day of the proposed truce is March 2.
“The keystone in the wall of worry is the trade discord,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research. “Should the negotiations crumble so too will near term support for equity prices.”
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