Trade and Tariffs Rattle Markets

Weekly Update – July 2, 2018

International trade concerns continue to create uncertainty in markets around the world. [1] Despite the markets’ slight rises on Friday, June 29, they recorded losses for the week. [2]  The S&P 500 fell 1.33%, the Dow gave back 1.26%, and the NASDAQ dropped 2.37%. [3] Internationally, the MSCI EAFE declined 1.10%. [4]

Friday also marked Q2’s last trading day. The U.S. economy remains strong thanks to low unemployment numbers and strong corporate earnings.[5]Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Fed announced that all but one bank passed stress tests evaluating their ability to weather a financial downturn.[6]

This week, we’ll address President Trump’s proposed tariffs on international imports and their effect on stock performance. [7] 

The Breakdown: Global Trade Concerns

President Trump maintains that China and other countries have consistently practiced unfair trade tactics and imposed large tariffs on U.S. exports. [8] In response, the White House has proposed raising tariffs on imports from China, Canada, and other countries. [9]

Unfair trade practices take several forms. In one scenario, foreign governments subsidize companies that export products. Those companies may in turn sell their products in the U.S. below cost. This approach can harm U.S. companies, cost jobs, and ultimately damage the economy. [10] The President also argues that imported metals are a threat to national security. [11]

The Impact: New Tariffs on the U.S.

Canada has responded to increased rates on steel and aluminum by announcing $16.6 billion in new tariffs on U.S. products, effective July 1. [12] On July 6, President Trump will determine whether to impose additional tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods. [13] Additionally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 2.6 million U.S. jobs could be on the line due to the administration’s trade policies. [14] 

Already, nearly 21,000 companies have asked for tariff exclusions to import metal duty free. Some of these companies claim the current trade disputes have resulted in layoffs and possible relocations or closures. [15]

Looking Ahead: Ongoing Global Developments

Third-quarter trade developments will continue to influence markets and emerging economies. [16] In addition, after the financial sector just posted its longest losing streak ever, analysts will be looking at how and whether they bounce back. Meanwhile, markets will also track the yield curve, which measures the difference between short- and long-term bond pricing. The curve has flattened to its lowest levels since August 2007, as investors drive up long-term bond prices in their search for safety from market volatility. [17]

As details continue unfolding, we’ll be sure to keep our pulse on what lies ahead. In the meantime, please contact us if you have any questions on how these details relate to your financial life.

Monday: PMI Manufacturing Index, Construction Spending
Tuesday: Motor Vehicle Sales
Thursday: ADP Employment Report, Jobless Claims
Friday: International Trade
Notes: All index returns (except S&P 500) exclude reinvested dividends, and the 5-year and 10-year returns are annualized. The total returns for the S&P 500 assume reinvestment of dividends on the last day of the month. This may account for differences between the index returns published on and the index returns published elsewhere. International performance is represented by the MSCI EAFE Index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
Quote Of The Week
“A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.”
– Jonathan Swift
Recipe Of The Week
Raspberry Swirl Rolls
Serves 12
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1¼-ounce package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Oil, for pan
  • ⅓ cup raspberry jam
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries (do not thaw)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, for brushing
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Heat milk and ½ cup of water on medium-low in small saucepan until warm (but not hot).
  2. At the same time, whisk yeast, granulated sugar, and 1 cup of flour in a large bowl. Stir warm milk into the bowl. Cover and set to the side until the mix is thick and foamy, about 15 minutes.
  3. Put in melted butter and salt and slowly mix in remaining 2 cups of flour. Cover the mix. Let it rise until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Coat an 11″ x 8″ casserole dish lightly with oil. Lay parchment paper in a pan as a lining; leave 3″ overhang on the 2 long sides. Oil the parchment paper.
  5. Mix jam, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a small bowl.
  6. Lay the dough on a floured surface and roll it into a 12″ x 9″ rectangle. Spread jam mixture over the top; then top with raspberries.
  7. Roll dough from the long side into a tight log. Pinch the seams to seal.
  8. Use a long piece of unflavored dental floss to cut the dough log into 12 1″ thick rolls. Use the floss by sliding it underneath the dough.
  9. Place the rolls, cut sides up, onto the prepared pan. Cover the pan and let the rolls rise until they have doubled in size and begin to touch each other, 50-60 minutes.
  10. At the same time, heat the oven to 375°F. After brushing the rolls with heavy cream, bake until they are puffy and light golden brown, 25-27 minutes. Let the rolls cool on a rack for 10 minutes.
  11. Frosting: Mix sour cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Spread the frosting over the warm rolls.

Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping[18]

Golf Tip

Fixing Crooked Iron Shots

Top golfing coaches say the best way to achieve lower golf scores is through better ball control, particularly the clubface.

Golf instructor Tony Ruggiero – Director of Instruction at the Country Club of Mobile, Alabama – says successful players turn their left (or weaker) wrist down during the swing, which matches the movement of the clubface. The face remains square at impact, eliminating most of the rotation. This makes the ball’s flight more predictable.
Ruggiero suggests players start focusing more of their attention on the clubface.
“Imagine the logo on the back of your glove is a mirror image of the clubface,” he said. “If you want the ball to go straight, have the back of your glove pointing at the target at impact. The most common mistake? Players who slice usually have the logo pointing up and to the right.”
Tip adapted from Golfworld [20]
Healthy Lifestyle
The Scoop on Sleep Disorders
The saying “you snooze, you lose” may be about urging people to pay attention. But for millions of sleep-deprived Americans, getting a good night’s sleep would be a big win.
Sleep disorders hamper people’s ability to get adequate rest and can lead to health problems.
Researchers say sleep deprivation may cause car crashes, relationship problems, poor job performance, injuries, poor memory, and moodiness. Sleep problems may also exacerbate heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
How much sleep do you need?
  • nfants: 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (ages 1-3): 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers (ages 3-5): 10-13 hours
  • Schoolchildren (ages 6-13): 9-11 hours
  • Teens (ages 14-17): 8-10 hours
  • Adults: 7-8 hours

Insomnia occurs when you can’t get to sleep for many nights or you stay awake for hours. Insomnia may be caused by bad habits, such as drinking coffee or having a heavy meal too late in the day, or leaving the television on.

Seek medical advice if you think you have a sleep disorder. Your doctor may ask you several questions:

  • What time do you go to bed and get up?
  • How long and well do you sleep?
  • How long do you stay awake in bed?
  • What have you been eating and drinking?
  • What drugs do you take?

Treatment for a sleep disorder may include using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Other sleep disorders are often treated with lifestyle changes and medications.

Exercise in the late afternoons can also help promote restful sleep.

Tips adapted from WebMD [21]

Zack Alkhamis CRPC, CFS
Matthew Jarrell, CFS, AIF
Timothy A. McAfee, CPA, CFP, PPC, MST
The Retirement Wealth Management Group
7900 Kirkland Court
Portage, MI 49024
Copyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved.
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Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.
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These are the views of Platinum Advisor Strategies, LLC, and not necessarily those of the named representative,
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