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Trade War Rhetoric Heats Up

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Monday, July 2, 2018

Pre-market futures are once again in the red this morning, in a holiday-shortened week that will be cleaved in half with Wednesday’s observance of Independence Day, when the U.S. shook off control of a hostile foreign power following passage of the most egalitarian governmental policy document in the history of the world, July 4, 1776 — a mere 242 years ago; a blink in the history of time.

We “celebrate” the week of the 4th of July, not to mention the first trading day of the second half of the calendar year, re-stoking the fires of a global trade war, with President Trump over the weekend calling the European Union (EU) “worse than China” on trade with the U.S., and threatening a 20% tariff on imported foreign cars from Europe. This would effect companies like Daimler AG, which owns the Mercedes brand of vehicles. The EU, in return, has earmarked a total of $294 billion in U.S. goods imported to Europe if Trump goes after car imports.

We’ve already seen how threats to EU imports have impacted companies like Harley-Davidson (HOG - Free Report) and Kentucky bourbon distributor Brown-Forman (BF.B - Free Report) . This morning, Zacks Stock Strategist David Borun contemplates which corporate domino might be next to fall amid our current trade friction scenario: Harley-Davidson Reacts to EU Tariffs; Who’s Next?

For Canada’s part, our neighbor to the north’s retaliatory measures are even more specific: while the country looks to charge 25% on imported U.S. steel and iron, a further 10% tax would be levied on consumer goods from tomato ketchup to coffee beans to dishwasher soap, totaling $12.6 billion in goods, total. This would have a negative effect on companies like Colgate-Palmolive (CL - Free Report) and Kraft Heinz (KHC - Free Report) .

Mexico has just elected a new president, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (known as AMLO), so it remains to be seen how new leadership in the country will deal with Trump’s new trade tactics. Reportedly, the country has already targeted U.S. imports on items like Florida orange juice such as Minute Maid, owned by The Coca Cola Company (KO - Free Report) .

June PMI Manufacturing

We see some key manufacturing data for the month of June this morning after the opening bell: Project Management Institute (PMI) and Institute for Supply Management (ISM) results. The Markit Manufacturing PMI's previous month reported 54.6. ISM reports new results around 10am ET, along with new Construction spending for May. ISM is expected to come in at 58.3% for June following the 58.7% previously, whereas construction looks for break-even results after a +1.8% headline read in the prior month.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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