White House Again Says China Deal is Near; Wall Street Says Show Us the Signatures

The White House rolled out another round of its ongoing soap opera “As the Deal Turns.” starring, this week Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow (again.)

The stock market yawned. “If you look at whenever they say ‘trade war is on, trade tariffs are off,’–if you look at that maneuver, it’s volatile to a point but it’s not significant,” Matt Lloyd, chief investment strategist at Advisors Asset Management, told Bloomberg. “Most of us have gotten used to it. We’ve re-calibrated. It’s like the boy who cried wolf.”

Yesterday Kudlow told reporters that  “we are coming down to the short strokes” and are “in communication with them every single day.”

Commerce Secretary Ross, speaking Friday on Fox Business Network, confirmed there will be a high-level call today, adding that there’ll be a deal “in all likelihood.” But, he added, “You don’t really have the deal on anything, until you have the deal on everything.”

Investors know that the last time a deal was near (in May), it fell apart at the last moment when the two sides couldn’t agree on what they’d agreed to. Wall Street also notes that President Donald Trump hasn’t yet publicly indicated his approval of the terms in general or of the details on when the U.S. might reduce its tariffs on China. At a rally last night in Louisiana, the President only repeated his contention that China wants a deal.

Today, November 15, the Standard & Poor’s 500 closed 0.77% higher and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 0.80%. The NASDAQ Composite gained 0.73% and the Russell 2000 Small Cap index was higher by 0.46%.

Gold fell 0.41% to $1467.30 an ounce. Silver was off 0.66% to $16.92 an ounce.

West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 1.81% to $57.80 a barrel. International benchmark Brent crude gained 1.70% to $63.34 a barrel.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury gained one basis point to 1.83%. The yield on the 2-year Treasury went to 1.61% from yesterday’s 1.59%.

The dollar fell with the Dollar Spot Index down 0.18%.