Below are the percent returns for my portfolio versus the S&P. We reclaimed a 130bps lead over the index this week as trade fears, while mostly shrugged off by the market, still pressured gains.
The week ahead has few items on the economic calendar, and no major market movers. Data will center on housing inventory and prices. Look to trade war updates, which are largely unpredictable, to drive investor sentiment. After the Trump administration instituted the first round of tariffs on $50B worth of Chinese goods last week, the PRC countered with $34B of their own tariffs on US goods on Friday. The tariffs mostly target agricultural products from Republican-dominated states. The US has prepared another round of tariffs, to the tune of $100B, that is expected to be introduced in response to the Chinese retaliation. Other trade disputes between former NAFTA allies and the EU also remain unresolved.
I don’t think these trade wars will be easy to win, but the US is in a strong economic position. The EU and EM countries have seen growth stagnate or reverse in recent months and will feel the pressure of the tariffs first, even if they will damage US GDP more in the long run. The chart below especially highlights the breakdown of synchronized global economic growth.
The market is waiting to factor in trade-war related issues until they fully materialize. In preparation for that time, we will adjust our portfolio to focus on companies that earn the majority of their revenue within the United States and are able to pass on price increases to consumers. The need for this is further bolstered by the high PPI reading for last month. While this month’s portfolio has room to run, we will rotate into overweight holdings in healthcare, financial services, communication services, and real estate next month and reduce holdings in industrials and basic materials.