Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came?

That was the title of a 1970 movie that cost three times as much to make as it generated in box office revenue. It might serve as an apt analogy to the market reaction to the opening round in the U.S. trade war with China. China specific tariffs took effect on Friday, and yet stocks rose pretty much everywhere, as investors chose to focus on economic conditions in the present, rather than speculating on the longer-term implications of a trade war. For how long investors will be able to look beyond these rising trade tensions remains to be seen, but at least on the first day it was a war to which nobody came.

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