Need to Know: The bear case for stocks is ‘so obvious, it can’t be right’

Stocks look on track for a rally Thursday because… trade-war fears are abating again?

Some analysts are in fact attributing the green on your screen to a report saying the U.S. and China are talking about talking things out.

It may be time to just throw up your hands and buy ’em, suggests our call of the day, which comes from Kevin Muir, writing for The Macro Tourist.

“Every bone in my body wants to sell this market,” he writes, but that bearish trade is “so obvious, it can’t be right.”

Everyone seems to be bearish, and “the investor in me agrees 100% with the skeptics who worry we are late-cycle and that risks are rising,” says Muir, who is a market strategist at East West Investment Management.

“But the trader in me is even more concerned that everyone is already positioned for this outcome,” he adds.

“Markets often go where they will hurt the most and make the majority look foolish. That path is higher — not lower.”

The proverbial “wall of worry” just keeps growing and “giving the market more fuel to rise,” he says.

Go here to read Muir’s full take.

Read: Here’s when Americans will start feeling the pain from escalating tariffs

And: What any American who eats should know about Trump’s trade fight for farmers

Key market gauges

Futures for the Dow YMU8, +0.73%  , S&P 500 ESU8, +0.55% and Nasdaq-100 NQU8, +0.49% are higher. That’s after the Dow DJIA, -0.88%  , S&P SPX, -0.71% and Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.55% slumped yesterday, as fresh trade jitters appeared to bring an end to the gauges’ four-day win streaks.

Europe SXXP, +0.60% and Asia have been seas of green. Oil prices are up sharply after Brent LCOU8, +1.32% plunged 7% yesterday as WTI CLQ8, +0.74% dived 5%, waylaid by expectations for higher global output. Gold  GCQ8, -0.04% and the dollar index DXY, +0.11% are little changed, while bitcoin BTCUSD, -2.86% trades in the vicinity of $6,200.

See the Market Snapshot column for the latest action.

The chart

The reports and charts on global trade are coming in fast and Deutsche Bank economist Torsten Slok is jumping in as he shares his monthly chartbook.

For instance, his graphic above illustrates how China has become GM’s GM, -1.97% biggest market. General Motors CEO Mary Barra soon may be filing injunctions against the Trump administration, said a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece.

Slok also offers the chart below showing the tariffs that have been threatened and actually implemented.

Read more: How Trump’s European auto tariff proposal could backfire

And see: Trade-war tracker — the new tariffs, imposed and threatened

The buzz

Papa John’s PZZA, -4.84% founder John Schnatter resigned as the pizza purveyor’s chairman last night after fallout over his use of the n-word during a conference call.

What’s the rationale behind Broadcom’s AVGO, -2.84% $19 billion buyout of software company CA CA, +0.16%  ? The chip giant may just want a portfolio of unrelated but promising businesses, à la SoftBank, says one analyst.

Trade wars have emerged as perhaps the biggest hurdle for the U.S. economy, but rising inflation might still be the biggest threat — and a fresh figure for the consumer price index is on tap before the opening bell.

Also on the economic front, we’re due to get an update on weekly jobless claims ahead of the open, and the Philly Fed’s Patrick Harker is slated to speak once trading is underway.

Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar

Delta Air Lines DAL, -1.50% is on the earnings docket before the open.

The quote

Activists in London inflate a big balloon depicting Trump as baby.

“The thing that frustrates me is the amount of money that we are having to spend to actually get him here. There’s a trip planned to Edinburgh that is going to cost like £5 million in policing, which is just a bit bonkers.” —30-year-old Paul Williams is among the many U.K. residents bemoaning President Donald Trump’s visit to the country.

Brits have planned protests and inflated a “Trump baby” balloon shown above. The official rigamarole will include a dinner today at Winston Churchill’s birthplace and a visit to the new U.S. embassy that Trump once blasted, as well as tea tomorrow with the queen at Windsor Castle.

But here’s an additional reaction via Insider from another 30-year-old, Jacques Moukouri: “It’s not going to change anything for us, is it? So I don’t know why people are up in arms against him coming. He’s the president, he can come and visit other countries.”

Random reads

World Cup prediction: France “just too talented,” will beat Croatia 2-1.

On the Cup’s hosts: Here’s why Russians are stingy with their smiles.

This toddler couldn’t stop touching Meghan Markle’s hair.

A cunning thief has impersonated some of Hollywood’s most powerful women.

Montana sheriff’s deputy describes hearing whimper, finding abandoned infant.

Stormy Daniels gets arrested, leading her lawyer to allege “a set up.”

A “crazy plant person” in Baltimore names his “green friends” and talks to them:

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