Displaying items by tag: US
If one thing has been clear over the last couple of years, it is that US-China relations are getting worse. It started earlier in Trump’s term and has escalated in a tit-for-tat battle over the last couple years. Some refer to it as a great “uncoupling” while others say it is a new cold war. Whatever you call it, there are a handful of sectors that will do well as the situation unfolds. One such sector is automation and robotics companies. These companies are likely to do very well as US businesses are forced to re-shore manufacturing from China and seek out automation to make the return more economical.
FINSUM: A major decoupling will be a very ugly event. US companies do $500 bn of sales in China each year. The automation play makes sense. Check out the Robotics ETF (ROBO).
In a week that saw American COVID cases surge and claim one quarter of all the world’s 10m cases, the US health secretary said that the US may not be able to contain the virus. The US has recently seen a huge jump in cases, with only two states showing a weekly decline in cases. This has led to speculation that the virus may be completely uncontained in the country. Health secretary Alex Azar appeared to acknowledge this, and when discussing containing the virus, he said “The window is closing…”, and that the southern US was seeing the worst of the flare up.
FINSUM: All the hopes that warm weather would hurt the virus have been proven wrong—the hottest places in the country are having the worst outbreaks! How does one price the odds of another economic decline because of this surge?
Speaking from the White House, President Trump issued a grave warning yesterday. Alongside Dr. Fauci, the team said that they expected between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the US from Coronavirus. The announcement took the media world by storm and appears to have also impacted markets, as futures have been down considerably since the speech. The president’s tone was a marked departure from his previous outlook, with Trump saying Americans needed to prepare for a “very, very painful two weeks”.
FINSUM: Those are big shocking numbers, and the grimness of Trump’s tone added even more gravity to the situation.
US Real estate has been a worry spot for the last few years. For the last three years or so everyone thought real estate might be the initial signal that the economy was headed lower. However, that never materialized and real estate has been looking modestly better for the last several months. The end of 2019 continued that streak as existing home sales rose 3.6% in December as low unemployment helped support the housing market.
FINSUM: We think the housing market is just solid and steady right now. No huge speculative gains, no gigantic increases in debt etc. It is a nice contrast to publicly-traded securities!
It has been more than 18 months of brinksmanship in the making, but the US and China are apparently set to seal a phase one trade deal. The deal will be signed at 11:30 am in the White House. The deal leaves out a lot of the most difficult and contentious issues between the countries, but is a sign that things are improving. The FT summarizes the substance of the deal this way, saying “It commits China to making $200bn in additional purchases of US goods, including farm products, and other pledges on currency and intellectual property, in exchange for a small rollback in some tariffs and an indefinite hold on further punitive measures out of Washington”.
FINSUM: The key thing here is that both countries want this work out and this deal is a step in the right direction. We find this quite positive in the grand scheme of things.