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From writer Matt Egan:
Gary Cohn's sudden resignation as President Donald Trump's top economic adviser is rattling Wall Street.
US stock futures dropped sharply on Tuesday evening after Cohn announced plans to step down amid a disagreement with Trump over trade policy.
Losses are expected when US markets open for trading. S&P 500 futures were down 0.9% as of 3:45 a.m. ET, and Dow futures were down over 300 points, or 1.2%.
The negative reaction underlines how investors have long been reassured by Cohn's presence in the Trump administration. Many believed the former Goldman Sachs (GS) president was a moderating voice to Trump's more aggressive views on economic policy, especially trade.
"The market looked at Gary Cohn as being the counterbalance to a pure strain of nationalism on tariffs and trade," said Peter Kenny, chief global market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group.
Cohn's exit from the White House also signals he may have lost a bruising fight with rivals inside the administration on tariffs. Cohn had been trying to soften Trump's plan to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel that some Republicans and business executives fear could spark a trade war.
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