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Stephen Gandel

Stocks Shrug Off Trump's Tariff Talk Prematurely

The hit could be worse than investors are expecting.
Photographer: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The Donald Trump tariff talk that panicked the market last week all of a sudden seems less scary.

What's soothing investors? Possibly the fact that other Republicans, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, haven't backed the president. Or perhaps Trump's own statement that the tariffs would not start a trade war. Or it might be the realization that the metal imports that Trump's tariff proposal targets -- steel and aluminum -- are tiny, just about $40 billion, much smaller than the roughly $500 billion that evaporated in the market last week. It could also be that investors are so high on tax cuts and good pro-business-y feelings (another way to put that would be denial) that there doesn't seem to be anything that can stop this bull market's momentum.