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Stocks fall as trade and border questions rock the markets

Over the course of January, traders have increasingly come to recognize that the post-election honeymoon rally had priced President Trump to perfection. In other words, the market was anticipating that all of his policies would be good for the US economy and quickly and efficiently implemented without disruption, opposition or retribution. LOL I almost got that out without laughing.

Stock markets around the world are dropping to start the week as traders who should have kno‎wn better all along finally have figured out that sweeping policy changes can also cause widespread confusion, disruption, and uncertainty. US index futures are down 0.25%, while the FTSE and Dax are down 0.8%. Most Asia Pacific markets were closed for Lunar New Year holidays. 

Currency markets are mixed to start the week, the US Dollar is up slightly against most other major currencies and gold‎. The Japanese Yen is the top performer ahead of this week's bank of Japan meeting. Commodity trading is also mixed with WTI crude oil up 0.3% and copper down 0.3%.

T‎he big question haunting markets today is whether the chaos over temporary changes to immigration policy could be a prelude potentially bigger disruptions from changes to trade relationships and tariffs. In the 2000-2002 bear market the last leg down started to the day when then President Bush slapped an import duty on Chinese steel in a bid to block dumping.

Today is relatively quiet for news but this is just a quick pause with big announcement coming this week including central bank meetings in the US, UK and Japan. Manufacturing and Service PMI reports, plus ADP and nonfarm payrolls.


Corporate News

There have been no major corporate announcements so far today

Economic News

Norway retail sales        (2.1%) vs street (0.1%)

Japan retail sales        (1.7%) vs street (0.5%)

NZ trade balance        ($41M) vs street ($98M)

Upcoming significant economic announcements include:

1:00 pm GMT        Germany consumer prices street     2.0% vs previous 1.7%

8:30 am EST        US personal income            street 0.4%
8:30 am EST        US personal spending            street 0.5%
8:30 am EST        US core PCE inflation            street 1.7%

10:00 am EST        US pending home sales            street 1.1%
10:30 am EST        US Dallas Fed                street 15.0

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