This week marks the beginning of the second quarter of the year. Looking back, this year is turning out to be a very interesting one indeed. The year started after Donald Trump signed the sweeping tax reform package that slashed corporate and individual taxes. Investors were optimistic that the president would continue with the business-friendly rules he had in the first year.
However, in the quarter, the president changed. After a year of listening to advice from his globalist advisors, the president moved to implement what he thought was the right thing. He purged the advisors like Gary Cohn and Rex Tillerson and started implementing his radical ideas. First, he announced that he would pull the United States from the Iran deal. He then started implementing sweeping tariffs on steel, aluminum and other Chinese products.
As a result, the global financial markets that were significantly higher in the year before started declining as shown below.
This week, the talk on trade will continue dominating the financial markets. During the weekend, the Trump administration announced that it would release a list of Chinese tech products to impose tariffs on. At the same time, Chinese authorities released a list of 128 American products to put tariffs on. These items range from meat to agricultural products. As a response, global financial futures point to a weaker open with the Dow shedding more than 100 points.
From the data side, Japan and China released the manufacturing data on Sunday. In the two countries, the data disappointed with the Chinese Manufacturing PMI falling to 51 from last month’s 51.6. The Japanese manufacturing and non-manufacturing index declined to 24 from last month’s 25. The decline in this sentiment is a clear indication that firms are facing challenges especially on trade issues.
Today, we will receive the manufacturing data from the United States. Traders expect the ISM manufacturing index to decline slightly to 60.1 from last month’s 60.8. Other manufacturing data that will be released this week include Germany which will be released on Tuesday. Investors expect the PMI to remain steady at 58.4. On the same day, the United Kingdom will release the manufacturing PMI data. Investors expect the manufacturing activity in the country to decelerate. We will also receive the Service PMI from the United States.
The biggest news this week will be the employment numbers in the United States. On Wednesday, ADP will release the employment change data. Investors expect that the company’s data will show that employers added 206K employees down from last month’s 235K. On Friday, the government will release the official employment data. Traders expect the data to show that the economy added 203K jobs, down from last month’s surprise of 313K. They expect the unemployment rate to drop to 4.0%. This data will come a week after government data showed that the number of initial jobless claims are at the lowest level since 1973.