Mike’s Morning Brief – March 7, 2018

Mike talking on the phone

What’s going on in the world…

Market opens sharply lower, but stabilized a bit early on, as the departure of Gary Cohn from the White House is sending shockwaves through the system with concerns that free market policies have turned hard toward protectionism and trade wars. Gary Cohn was the voice of Wall Street in Washington. Global markets felt the pressure overnight. Global leaders are bracing for some sort of trade war and talking down the risks of one. IMF Director Christine Lagarde warned of the risks to the global economy. Free trade and fair trade continue to be debated. Trade tariffs remain the primary focus, and the Market had been looking past the rhetoric, and seeing better trade deals ahead. That changed with Cohn’s announced departure. The tariff talk is perhaps another example of President Trump’s MO to shake things up, get people rattled and ultimately settling on something more tolerable for all sides. It’s an aggressive ploy that has shaken up everything in his path. Lost in the wake of this development is the fact that North Korea apparently said they would be open to talks with the US on denuclearization. This news should come with a great deal of skepticism. Did you hear that Coca Cola is launching an alcoholic beverage and McDonald’s plans to serve fresh beef? Those are eye-catching headlines that are being drowned out today. Makes you really wonder what’s in those burgers now. Stocks are down. Bonds are catching a bid. The price of Oil and Gold are holding in flattish. The drama and the volatility continue.

Have a great morning,

Mike Frazier

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