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Did Trump’s latest Tweet just save the markets rally?

June 23, 2020, 9:40 AM UTC

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Good morning, Bull Sheeters. There were all kinds of fireworks after the bell yesterday—the figurative kind—when Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade advisor, declared to a Fox News anchor the U.S.-China trade deal to be “over.” U.S. futures immediately sunk. The yuan went haywire; the Asian markets followed. And then Trump took to Twitter to say, no, no, no. It’s fully intact.

Crisis averted?

Let’s check in on the action.

Markets update


  • Asian stocks started the session with a thud. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo all fell at the open, only to recover following the Trump tweet.
  • Navarro too did his part to clean up the mess. He went on another news program—NBC News— to say that his “it’s over” Fox News comments had been “taken wildly out of context.” … Capite?
  • Boris, you’re on the clock… Japan is giving the UK six weeks to cut a post-Brexit trade deal, the Financial Times reports. For a country that hasn’t cut a new trade deal in 40 years, that’s not much time.


  • The European bourses gained at the open after a blue Monday. Germany’s Dax was up 0.8%. 90 minutes later, it was up near 2% after better-than-expected PMI figures point to a big rebound in manufacturing in the UK and in the Eurozone.
  • Sparks flew on the E.U.—China video-conferenced summit yesterday. Europe unloaded its opposition to the Hong Kong-focussed security law and China’s restrictions on foreign investors. Ominously, there was no joint statement afterwards.
  • The E.U. also has the U.S. in its sights. The trade bloc is planning to target red-state industries such as coal producers, farmers and fisheries with an $11.2 billion round of tariffs.


  • The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all started the week on a high note yesterday. Futures point to further gains as investors will see if the Nasdaq can extend its rally to an eighth straight trading session.
  • T-Mobile shares are 1.7% lower in premarket trade after cash-strapped SoftBank agreed to sell off $21 billion worth of shares in the American mobile carrier. Most of those shares will be sold to the public, T-Mobile confirms.
  • Gilead won emergency FDA approval for its COVID-19 treatment, paving the way for the next round of clinical trials. The stock dropped on the news yesterday.


  • Gold is up
  • The dollar is down.
  • Crude is climbing this morning, with Brent hovering above $43/barrel.

Eight straight?

The Nasdaq is cruising. After seven straight days of gains, the tech-heavy index has notched its longest rally of the year.

YTD, the Nasdaq is up an impressive 12%. If your portfolio is weighted to tech stocks you’ve fared well through this pandemic. If instead you’re long on energy, finance and industrials, you’ll be grumbling at what I’m about to say.

And that is… the Dow (-8.8%) and S&P 500 (-3.5%) are both down for 2020.

For weeks now, market observers have been calling out the growing decoupling underway. It’s not an exaggeration to describe the markets action as Big Tech, and everything else.

This phenomenon is most pronounced between the FANG stocks and the broader global equities market, as this chart, courtesy of MarketEar, shows:

The all-equity MSCI World (in white) is seeing something like a square-root symbol—or, take your pick, a radical sign. Meanwhile, the FANG+ index (in blue) is seeing a proper “V.” With a capital V, that is.

Each day through this run, the likes of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft have hit one all-time high after another. Meanwhile, Alphabet’s Google is just a tick below its historic peak. Yesterday, shareholders shrugged off the news that Google would see a decline its ad business for the first time in 16 years.

As I type, the Nasdaq futures are showing that an eighth straight day of gains are imminently achievable.

Investors just can’t get enough of Big Tech.


Have a nice day, everyone. I’ll see you here tomorrow.

Bernhard Warner

A note from my Fortune colleagues on a timely new initiative:

Many companies are speaking out against racial injustices right now. But how do they fare in their own workplaces? Black employees in the corporate world, we want to hear from you: Please submit your anonymous thoughts and anecdotes here.

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Today's reads

Cheese bulls. The wholesale market for cheddar goes through phases that sound a bit like the cheese itself. It's either mild or sharp. It's definitely not the former these days. As the New York Times reports, cheese prices have hit a 20-year high on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It's nearly twice as costly as it was in early 2019. Yes, the pandemic is to blame... Has anyone noticed this at the deli counter?

Whisky a no-go. Tariff wars have claimed another proud American industry: whiskey distillers. In the past two years, America's bourbon, rye whiskey and Tennessee whiskey makers have lost about $300 million in export revenues since getting pulled into the tit-for-tat tariff war between the United States and the E.U.

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Market candy

Call in the sopranos

Puccini fans (I can't be the only one here), you'll like this one. Barcelona's Liceu opera house reopened yesterday to a full house. Of plants. As NPR reports, the performance of Puccini's "Crisantemi" was "also made available to human listeners via livestream."