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Brutal 48 Hours for Stock Traders Caught in the Trump-Powell Squeeze

  • Tariff move seen as lever to force Fed into stronger easing
  • U.S. stocks post worst back-to-back sessions since mid-May
Donald Trump and Jerome Powell in 2017.

Donald Trump and Jerome Powell in 2017.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images 

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It’s not that stock traders exactly knew that President Donald Trump was going to lash out at China Thursday, but some sensed something might be coming.

From the moment Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday trade tensions had returned to just a “simmer,” they feared something like the tariff tweet that Trump ultimately delivered. “They were holding the ‘simmering’ comment in their heads,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Management in Pittsburgh.