Quest: Mr. Trump and the Davos elites

Quest's Profitable MomentPresident Donald Trump is going to Davos for the World Economic Forum -- and he's tak...

Posted: Jan 12, 2018 11:09 AM
Updated: Jan 12, 2018 11:09 AM

Quest's Profitable Moment

President Donald Trump is going to Davos for the World Economic Forum -- and he's taking many members of his cabinet with him. Davos is famous for being a gathering of heads of state as well as CEOs and other high-powered corporate executives. Considering Trump's "drain the swamp" platform, it is a bit eye-raising that he will be attending an event that personifies global elites.

The White House says President Trump will be there to discuss his "America First" policy. What this means exactly is not clear. I think it is safe to assume there will be some carrots and some sticks in his approach. The visit will be part victory lap...reminding the participants that his election was a rejection by U.S. voters of what Davos is all about. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hinted that would be the case, saying before the trip that the president was not there to rub elbows with the rich.

Sign up for the weekly Quest newsletter in your inbox

I will be watching for evidence of hypocrisy at Davos. CEOs may like the lower tax rates and deregulation Trump has brought about. But many of his policies -- reversing efforts to combat climate change, restricting immigration, and putting up trade barriers -- are antithetical to what Davos attendees support.

If Trump wasn't going to Davos I bet he would have been excoriated by many business leaders and heads of NGOs from liberal Europe. Let's see how many of them raise a voice over Trump's stances on Iran and Russia now that he is attending. Or will they instead "play the game" and keep quiet, happy to be able to brag they are at Davos, with the president, improving the state of the world?

Will China slow down its U.S. bond buys?

China is the biggest foreign holder of Treasuries. That's why a Bloomberg report which suggested China may halt its purchases of U.S. debt sent the bond market into a tailspin. Yields on the 10-Year Treasury spiked to their highest level in nearly a year.

The stock market is shrugging off these concerns for now. But can that last?

Some worry that inflation pressures will return later this year and force the Federal Reserve to raise rates more quickly than expected. That could make it more expensive for consumers and businesses to borrow money, slow down the economy and put a damper on corporate profits.

-- Paul R. La Monica

NAFTA tensions build ahead of talks

Tension is already building among Canada, Mexico and the United States. It's only growing before the sixth round of NAFTA negotiation, which resumes January 23 in Montreal, Canada.

The Trump administration slapped more tariffs on Canada this week, while Canada is fighting against other U.S. tariffs in a court battle at the World Trade Organization.

Every major player in North America is watching how trade relations develop in the coming weeks. Ford CEO James Hackett told CNNMoney that he believes the Trump administration has the right intentions as it renegotiates NAFTA.

But Mexican and Canadian leaders say the administration's proposals so far are dealbreakers. Some U.S. business advocates call the proposals "poison pills" for trade.

-- Patrick Gillespie

Global economy doing great -- even in Europe

The world has suffered from a frustratingly uneven recovery for years. Strong growth in one pocket of the globe would get drowned out by trouble elsewhere.

Finally, the global economy are firing on all cylinders. Even Europe is charging ahead, with growth likely outpacing the U.S. in 2017.

The broad upturn could last for the "next couple of years," the World Bank said. 2018 is projected to be the first since the financial crisis that the world's economy is running at almost its full potential.

The catch: the World Bank thinks growth may soon peak and decelerate in 2019 and 2020 as the U.S., China and Europe cool off.

-- Matt Egan

It's now easier for Gap to open stores in India

India just made it easier for some Western companies to sell goods to the country's 1.2 billion people.

On Wednesday, the Indian government said that global single-brand retailers, such as Gap or Apple, will no longer need permission to own and operate stores on the subcontinent. Previously, companies had to secure government approval to own more than 49% of an Indian retail operation.

The move is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's broader push to simplify doing business in India.

-- Julia Horowitz

Quick takes

Trump ending protection for Salvadorans threatens key 'lifeline' for poor nation

NYC deals a blow to Big Oil with climate change suit, promise to dump stocks

Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway. Now it's planning for life after Buffett

South Korea, the epicenter of the bitcoin craze, could ban all crypto trading

Hot stock tip: Grab the companies that Trump bashes on Twitter

Austerity hurts. Saudis reverse tax hikes, subsidy cuts to avoid backlash

What's next

Does steel threaten U.S. national security? The Trump administration could answer that question by Monday. It is investigating whether steel imports are a risk to U.S. national security. The thinking behind the investigation is that the administration wants to slap huge tariffs on steel imports. It's just not clear which countries will be targeted or how high the tariffs will be.

The pulse of Wall Street: Big banks and institutions report earnings Friday, including JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and BlackRock, which manages $5.7 trillion. It's the first round of earnings since the GOP tax reform passed and will be an opportunity for America's top financial CEOs to comment on what they intend to do with the savings from the corporate tax cut. Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are all on tap to report results next week.

China's growth: We'll find out how much the Chinese economy grew in 2017 on Wednesday evening ET when the People's Republic reports fourth quarter GDP. One of the major tailwinds behind the global economy last year was stabilized growth from China after a couple years of slowing growth.

U.S. markets closed Monday: There will be no trading in New York in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 45°
Huntsville/Madison
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 45°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 42°
Fort Payne
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 50°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 426543

Reported Deaths: 6126
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62752920
Mobile30551554
Madison27303186
Tuscaloosa20835267
Montgomery19192305
Shelby18693114
Baldwin16513183
Lee12603101
Morgan12321113
Etowah11805168
Calhoun11206200
Marshall10236107
Houston8681148
Cullman8094105
Limestone807474
Elmore7923101
DeKalb771597
Lauderdale763183
St. Clair7599120
Talladega6224108
Walker5930174
Jackson583741
Colbert535473
Blount532083
Autauga522755
Coffee446256
Dale399781
Franklin368148
Chilton337865
Russell335910
Covington330168
Escambia321342
Dallas305196
Chambers288669
Clarke283133
Tallapoosa2630107
Pike251329
Marion247350
Lawrence245247
Winston229035
Bibb217047
Geneva203335
Marengo200829
Pickens196931
Hale177442
Barbour173836
Fayette171226
Butler170758
Cherokee160930
Henry155021
Monroe147317
Randolph141535
Washington138326
Clay127045
Crenshaw120244
Cleburne118423
Lamar118419
Macon116835
Lowndes111535
Wilcox103621
Bullock99728
Perry98219
Conecuh95120
Sumter89526
Greene76223
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 690065

Reported Deaths: 8471
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby767471128
Davidson71148672
Knox38985408
Hamilton34813329
Rutherford33298287
Unassigned22950127
Williamson21507140
Sumner18322232
Out of TN1618380
Wilson14511158
Montgomery14507149
Sullivan12634211
Blount12029126
Washington11949192
Maury11003123
Bradley1083891
Sevier10534108
Putnam9968140
Madison9163179
Robertson766685
Hamblen7018109
Anderson6818104
Greene6615108
Tipton622665
Gibson5656111
Coffee564882
Cumberland542173
Dickson540479
Bedford532889
Roane522979
Carter5115114
Lawrence511469
McMinn510073
Warren500053
Loudon497450
Jefferson480875
Dyer477282
Monroe459462
Hawkins448170
Franklin413062
Obion400580
Fayette399351
Rhea382856
Lincoln379844
Marshall346336
Cocke345656
Weakley341248
Cheatham338130
Henderson333857
Campbell325840
Giles323072
Carroll312759
White311743
Hardeman310452
Hardin298947
Lauderdale294331
Macon289350
Wayne262219
Henry261958
Overton254643
DeKalb242741
McNairy241042
Haywood240645
Smith231727
Marion229231
Trousdale228914
Scott226231
Hickman224934
Claiborne215929
Fentress213231
Grainger209636
Johnson202232
Morgan189815
Crockett180938
Bledsoe174910
Chester174837
Unicoi167944
Cannon158119
Lake156019
Decatur147726
Polk143817
Union139923
Grundy139321
Sequatchie137618
Humphreys133517
Benton132435
Lewis127720
Meigs114916
Stewart105820
Jackson104322
Perry94825
Clay94026
Houston93922
Moore8089
Pickett68020
Van Buren6637
Hancock4056

Community Events