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With a China trade truce in place, the U.S.-European trade war moves to front burner

Well, that certainly didn't take long. With the ink barely dry on the Part 1 trade agreement between the United States and China, the European Union said that the deal could violate the rules of the World Trade Organization. EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said his team will scrutinize whether China’s pledge to increase purchases of U.S. goods and services by at least $200 billion over the next two years is WTO-compatible. “We haven’t analyzed the document in detail, but we will and if there’s a WTO-compliance issue of course we will take the case”  to the World Trade Organization Hogan told a conference on Thursday in Washington. “We’re not trigger-happy about taking cases to the WTO -- we don’t want to create that impression. But we’ll stand up for our own economic interests.” I'm not a lawyer and I don't even play one on TV, but my read of the agreement--with its provision to require China to purchase goods from the United States--does indeed violate WTO rules. In other words, see you in court.

Good news in yesterday’s U.S.-China trade deal for Visa, MasterCard, and American Express

Yesterday, the day of the announcement of the Part 1 trade deal between the United States and China, shares of Via (V) climbed 1.91%. MasterCard (MA) gained 1.16%. American Express rose 0.79%. On a day when the Standard & Poor's 500 fell 0.15% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained just 0.11%. Today the overall market was much stronger with the S&P 500 gaining 0.84% at the close and the Dow Industrials ahead 0.92%, but Visa (up 0.58%), MasterCard (up 1.93%) and American Express (up 0.56%) added to the previous day's gains rather than giving ground. What's up with these stocks?

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