Friday, 24 August 2018

Stocks fall as US-China trade war drags on

Markets mostly fell on Thursday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.2 percent but the Nikkei 225 rose 0.2 percent.

“It’s really slow, volumes are down 12% versus a 20-day average. I usually don’t put much credibility into slow markets,” said Mike Antonelli, an equity sales trader at Robert W. Baird & Co.

Concerns over a trade war are likely to persist after activation of another round of tariffs by the US and China on each other’s goods and US and Chinese officials ended two days of talks on Thursday with no major breakthrough.

Some remain hopeful though.

“The next few months are going to be a challenge,” said Wharton School finance professor Jeremy Siegel. “But if we can get China [and] NAFTA settled, I see a 10 percent pop in the market because I think that's the kind of 800-pound gorilla keeping a lid on prices now.”

Siegel was not too concerned about the US stock market's valuation.

“The previous longest bull market ended in March of 2000 with a price-earnings ratio at 30 for the S&P. We're looking at 18 right now for looking at this year's earnings,” he said.

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