“The way these things work is they’ll carve out some exemptions,” said Mark Grant, chief global strategist at B. Riley FBR, adding he does not believe the worst-case trade war scenario that slammed the stock market Thursday and early Friday will come to pass.
Stocks plunged strongly Thursday on trade war concerns because they’re still in a fragile, “corrective phase,” Grant, a 40-year veteran of finance, told CNBC on Friday.
But with the tariffs not being implemented until what’s expected to be next week, Grant said, “I think they’re going to back this down” either through exemptions or modifications.
After Thursday’s Trump tariff announcement, stocks suffered a third straight session of sharp declines. However, ahead of Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 were each still about 5 percent above the early February lows, which briefly marked a correction in excess of 10 percent from the Jan. 26 all-time closing highs.
The Dow and S&P 500 were about flat for the year, as of Thursday’s close, after a roaring start to 2018 following incredible gains last year.
Adding to market fears, there are multiple media reports casting doubt on top Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn’s future after he was unable to convince the president not to impose steel and aluminium tariffs.
There’s been speculation for months about whether or not Cohn may leave his post as director of the National Economic Council. Cohn, who was the No. 2 executive at Goldman Sachs before joining the White House, is seen by Wall Street as a moderating voice in the administration.