by Rick Ackerman
Stocks have been running in place since Friday, presumably developing thrust for a move to new record highs. Ordinarily, the signing of the trade pact with China might have been expected to provide more boost than we saw on Wednesday. But the news was tempered with some facts that evidently were not widely known. Specifically, many of the tariffs put in place during the two-year trade war will remain there until after the U.S. election. The very good news is that President Trump has not given away the store just for the sake of appearances. He is willing to scale back tariffs on more than $300 billion in goods if China shows good faith toward the pact just signed. That means not only opening up certain markets to U.S. producers, but taking preliminary steps to demonstrate respect for intellectual property. We’d been skeptical all along that the agreement would amount to much, but it’s probably as good a deal as we could have hoped for. The opportunity to improve on it during new rounds of talks will surely have a positive impact on the stock market between now and next November.