US stockmarket shrugs off global gloom

While China has slipped into bear-market territory and emerging markets are shrouded in uncertainty, the US stockmarket has hit a new record high. Technology stocks have spearheaded this year’s equity market rally. Economy-sensitive sectors such as materials and banks are charging ahead, too, say Robin Wigglesworth, Mamta Badkar and Sam Fleming in the Financial Times.

Despite the ongoing trade tensions with China and a new round of tariffs imposed by the US this month, “the American economy has received a big fillip” from the Trump administration’s tax cuts.
The windfall is also “translating into more robust economic expansion and healthier corporate earnings”. In addition, a combination of employment and wage data continues to look promising. Consumer confidence is at its highest since 2000, according to the Conference Board.
The US economy is set to expand 2.9% this year, up from 2.2%. That would be the fastest pace of annual growth since 2005, notes the Financial Times.
But how much higher can stocks go? Fears of a major trade war persist and the Fed will keep tightening. “That raises the question of how much longer the recovery will last, and how much earnings will grow from here,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank on MarketWatch. Along with valuations, these factors imply the bull is on borrowed time.

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