We can debate whether the U.S. is winning the trade war with China, and even whether Trump understands how tariffs work (which apparently he does not). But if the President comes away from this weekend’s planned G20 dinner with President Xi Jinping smiling his orange smile and boasting of a deal, the Dow Industrials will be up a thousand points on Monday. To be sure, this is a longshot bet. Although China’s already weakened economy has taken a big hit from U.S. levies on its exports, the Chinese government has adamantly refused compromise, even on matters where they have no case to argue, such as intellectual property theft. In this category China ranks as the most corrupt, brazenly dishonest –and successful — country on earth, a virtual nation of perps and spies. However, by not giving an inch on patents, they risk alienating the rest of the world, even the wussy suck-ups in Brussels. Trump’s judgment is that his commie-rat counterpart will fold — if not at Saturday night’s tête-à-tête with Xi in Argentina, then eventually. With China’s economy just short of nosediving, Xi is running out of time. Will he give Trump something to brag about over the weekend? Probably not. But we’ll be pleased to take the odds if index call options on Friday are priced, as we are nearly certain they will be, to give us a 20-to-1 bet on the pass line.
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Tuesday, January 8, 2019
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