J.P. Morgan’s chief equity strategist Dubravko Lakos-Bujas says that the outcome of the US-China trade policy would have a major bearing on the S&P 500, one way or the other. With Washington and Beijing expected to restart discussions, and if a trade deal coincides with the Fed cutting interest rates, Lakos-Bujas expects the S&P 500 to rally to 3200-3300, about 10% from Wednesday’s closing. On the contrary, if the trade dispute escalates, he anticipates the index to tumble more than 16%, to 2500.
According to the J.P. Morgan analyst, while a trade deal would give much-needed clarity to US companies on future trade policies, an escalation would affect US corporates to a far greater extent than the Fed policy or the corporate tax cuts brought about in 2017. While he expects the impact of the trade tariffs to lower the EPS of the S&P 500 by $5, he estimates the cost to individual households to rise from $600 to $1550 a year, defeating the recent tax benefits.
The S&P 500 settled near its all-time highs of 2993.10 on Wednesday after briefly surging above 3000 for the first time in history.