I’d like to open this week’s piece with a bit of Twitter wisdom, (as much as an oxymoron as that sounds).

The impact of Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s sweet whispers to the market that the 2018 rate hikes are on hold for 2019 is wearing off as politics and trade tensions dominate market movement. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that prescriptions for Xanax and the like have been on the rise inside the beltway in recent weeks. Those headlines investors are trying to navigate around are dominated by talk of the trade war with China which has evolved from last year’s Presidential tweet.

To the May 23rd, 2019 comment from Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng in Mandarin, (according to a CNBC translation)

“If the U.S. would like to keep on negotiating it should, with sincerity, adjust its wrong actions. Only then can talks continue.”

So that’s going well. China appears to very much be digging in its heels and preparing for a prolonged battle. We are hearing talk of a ‘cold war’ on the tech sector and the New York Times wrote, “Mnuchin Presses Companies For Trade War Contingency Plans.”

With all that, it is no wonder that the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) has moved above both its 50-day and 200-day moving average.

Click here to read the full article on Iris.