For stocks, the conversation is changing. The president has sent out his men with a clear message on China tariffs but without a timetable for talks and with a great deal that is negotiable.
President Donald Trump could blow this up again — his announcement Thursday night that he is exploring an additional $100 billion in tariffs on China has markets down again Friday morning — but for the moment investors are eager to move on.
The conversation will now move to the pace of economic growth. On Friday, we get wage growth statistics for March, and new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will speak on the state of the economy.
The best-case scenario for stocks would seem to be wage growth in line with expectations (0.2 percent month-over-month, 2.7 annualized growth) and job growth in line with expectations of 178,000.
The worst case scenario is likely wage growth higher than expected (0.3 percent or higher month over month, 2.9 percent to 3 percent annual), with upward revisions from February, and job growth much higher, all of which would increase the chances for a Fed rate hike.
Next week begins what is expected to be the strongest earnings season in nearly eight years, with potential growth of 18 percent. The concerns over a trade war have taken their toll on the markets. Prices are lower than just three weeks ago.