Trump’s Optimistic Trade Remarks Push Stocks Up 300 Points

The stock market is up more than 300 points this morning after President Donald Trump made new comments on trade and the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 312 points, or 1.21%, at market open on Monday. The S&P 500 rose 1.2%, or 35 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.5%, or nearly 120 points.

In an interview with reporters on Sunday, Trump soft-pedaled fears of an economic slowdown despite signs of a recession that had markets recoiling last week to record one of their worst days of the year. (The Dow plunged 800 points, or 3.05%, on Wednesday.) Wall Street recovered some of its losses at the end of the week following solid retail sales figures and retail giant Walmart’s stellar earnings results.

Reiterating his point in a tweet posted yesterday, Trump called the U.S. economy “the best in the world, by far” — pointing to the half-century-low unemployment rate of 3.7% and continued rhetoric that China is footing the bill for tariffs slapped on U.S. imports.

He also brought up negotiations between Washington and Beijing, writing on Twitter that the world’s two largest economies were “talking” in an attempt to negotiate a deal that would end their protracted trade war.

Despite easing fears of further escalation, an imminent deal remains unlikely. “If I wanted to make a bad deal and settle on China, the market would go up. But it wouldn’t be the right thing to do,” Trump told reporters on Sunday. “I’m just not ready to make a deal; China would like to make a deal — I’m not ready.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Trade Representative announced that it would postpone the 10% duty on some of the $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, such as mobile phones, laptops and toys as well as unspecified items of footwear and apparel, based on “health, safety, national security and other factors.” (The fourth tranche of tariffs has thus been split, with one set impacted with the additional duty on Sept. 1 and another on Dec. 15.)

It marked the latest development in the U.S.-China trade war, which has already seen the U.S. slap tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods. In response, China has retaliated with levies on $110 billion of American products.

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