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G-7 may look like a hot mess, but it doesn’t matter — trade wars do

World leaders may not like the tough “America first” message President Donald Trump is sending on trade and other issues, but their awkward lack of harmony at a tense G-7 meeting doesn’t really matter. What does matter is how they end up dealing with trade issues, and whether positions harden prematurely, leading to trade wars rather than negotiation. Every country in the group has felt the recent sting of U.S. tariffs, and there have been counter moves to get back at American farmers and producers. “I was very encouraged by today’s market action. I would not have been surprised at all going into this G-7 that the market would just take a breather, considering it’s not going to be a good result,” said Leo Grohowski, CIO of BNY Mellon Wealth Managem...

It’s a big week for the markets, but all signs point to more upside

It’s going to be a big week for the markets, with three central bank meetings (the Fed on Wednesday, the European Central Bank on Thursday and Bank of Japan on Friday) and President Trump’s summit with North Korea dominating the headlines. There also is a pile of economic data on its way: CPI on Tuesday, producer prices on Wednesday, retail sales on Thursday and industrial production on Friday. And to end the week, Friday is quadruple witching, the quarterly expiration of stock and stock index futures and options. That’s a lot for the markets to digest, but for the moment, very little can keep them down. Consider: 1. The right leadership is powering the markets. Tech is still strong, but it has been joined by financials as a market leader. Together, they are north of 40 p...

Economic growth for second quarter is on track to double 2017’s full-year pace

The U.S. economy is heating up as the year progresses, with the second quarter pointing towards some of the gaudy growth that President Donald Trump predicted when he was running for president. In its most recent forecast, the Atlanta Fed said the three-month period is tracking at a 4.6 percent gain, exactly double the 2017 rate as well as the 2018 first-quarter number. If accurate, the growth rate would easily outdistance the 3.1 percent gain for 2017 in the same three-month period. While running for office, Trump promised his policies would push the economy towards growth he estimated as high as 6 percent. The Atlanta district raised its forecast following a report Friday morning indicating a stronger than expected inventory build that raised the forecast one-tenth of a point. Other trac...

Japan, US are working on their first trade talks in July under new framework

Japan and the United States are working to hold their first bilateral trade talks under a new framework in July, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said, in a sign Washington may ratchet up pressure on Tokyo to open up its markets. U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in April to set up the new framework focusing on bilateral trade and led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. At their latest summit in Washington on Thursday, the leaders agreed to make preparations to hold the first Lighthizer-Motegi meeting in July, the ministry said in a statement. Analysts say the new framework could put Japan under direct U.S. pressure to enter talks for a bilateral free trade agreement. Japan is wary of entering such tal...

Japan’s economy contracted as expected in the first quarter

Japan’s economy contracted at an annualized rate of 0.6 percent in January-March, unchanged from a preliminary estimate issued last month, revised gross domestic product data from the Cabinet Office showed on Friday. The result compared with the median estimate of a 0.4 percent annualized contraction in a Reuters poll of economists. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP fell 0.2 percent in real, price-adjusted terms, also unchanged from the initial reading.The median estimate among economists was for a 0.1 percentdecline.

Argentina clinches $50 billion International Monetary Fund financing deal

Argentina and the International Monetary Fund have reached an agreement for a three-year, $50 billion standby arrangement, subject to IMF board approval, the government and the Fund said on Thursday. Argentina requested IMF assistance on May 8 after its peso currency weakened sharply in an investor exodus from emerging markets. The deal marks a turning point for Argentina, which for years shunned the IMF after a devastating 2001-2002 economic crisis that many Argentines blamed on Fund-imposed austerity measures. The turn to the lender by President Mauricio Macri has led to protests in the country. The government says it sought financing to provide a safety net and avoid the frequent crises of Argentina’s past. “There is no magic, the IMF can help but Argentines need to resolve ...

Cramer’s investing rule for when company executives unexpectedly resign

Unexplained executive resignations are a major red flag for CNBC’s Jim Cramer. “You need to be very cautious when you see unexplained resignations by key executives,” the “Mad Money” host told investors. “To put it bluntly, when the chiefs resign, maybe you should go, too.” Breaking from his usual method of homework and careful deliberation, Cramer said investors are better served presuming something is wrong and selling right away when CEOs step down for no clear reason. “Shoot first. Ask questions later,” he said. The sale doesn’t have to be permanent, either. Cramer recalled selling stocks just because their companies’ CEOs or CFOs resigned, and if nothing was wrong, he’d simply buy them back. “But in my whole...

White House analysis says Trump’s tariffs will hurt US economic growth: NYT

The White House Council of Economic Advisors has concluded that President Donald Trump’s tariffs will hurt economic growth in the United States, according to The New York Times, citing several people familiar with the research. The findings of the analysis, which have been circulated internally and are not yet publicly available, contradict Trump administration officials who claim that the president’s approach to trade would be “massively good for the U.S. economy.” Most recently, the administration has hit Canada, Mexico, Japan and the European Union with aluminum and steel tariffs as well as threatened tariffs on Chinese goods. Several US trading partners have responded with their own tariffs, including close allies such as Canada and Mexico. The European Union is...

Ending quarterly earnings guidance won’t solve the issue of ‘short-term’ thinking

Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett have again made a pitch to eliminate “short-termism” by calling on CEOs to stop providing quarterly guidance. But is earnings guidance really the issue? I don’t think so. To begin with, only about one in five companies still provides quarterly guidance. Second, eliminating earnings guidance or commentary would do nothing to eliminate short-termism. Here’s why: the 1934 SEC Act (which created the SEC) mandates that companies provide quarterly earnings reports. It’s those reports that are used by analysts to generate commentary and guidance. Importantly, neither Dimon nor Buffett called for eliminating quarterly earnings reports, though plenty of other people have. “I wish it would all go away,” Bob Lutz, a former execu...

Wall Street veteran Byron Wien doesn’t see a recession until at least 2021

There won’t be another recession until at least 2021, Wall Street veteran Byron Wien told CNBC on Thursday, betting the current economic expansion would last longer than what a group of top business economists recently predicted. “There isn’t a recession in sight,” Wien, a vice chairman at Blackstone, said in a “Squawk on the Street” interview. “My view is the earliest we’re going to have a recession is 2021.” Earlier this week, the National Association for Business Economics said two-thirds of its members see a recession starting by the end of 2020, with 18 percent even more pessimistic, expecting the next downturn to begin by the end of 2019. However, the NABE economists generally agree the tax cuts President Donald Trump pushed throu...

US jobless claims fall unexpectedly as the labor market tightens

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to a further tightening in labor market conditions. The robust labor market and firming inflation have cemented expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week. Many economists believe the U.S. central bank will hike rates two more times after its June 12-13 policy meeting to prevent the economy from overheating. The Fed lifted borrowing costs in March and forecast at least two more rate increases for this year. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended June 2, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims data for the prior week was revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously report...

Buffett says economy is feeling strong: ‘If we’re in the sixth inning, we have our sluggers coming to bat’

Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett and J.P. Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon told CNBC the U.S. economy is in rare form and could continue to prove strong for years to come. In an exclusive joint interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick, Dimon and Buffett cited several aspects of the economy as reasons for optimism. “Right now, there’s no question: It’s feeling strong. I mean, if we’re in the sixth inning, we have our sluggers coming to bat right now,” Buffett said in the “Squawk Box” the interview that aired Thursday. “I’m no good at predicting out two or three or five years from now, although I will say this: There’s no question in my mind that America’s going to be far ahead of where we are now 10, 20 and 3...