Investor Confidence Slips Amid Concern Over Trump, Trade Tensions - CFO Journal.

By Anonymous

Investor confidence in capital markets has slipped compared to last year because of concerns over leadership in the White House and trade tensions, according to an annual survey from a nonprofit that represents public-company auditors.

Seventy-four percent of investors felt confident in U.S. capital markets, according to the 2018 Main Street Investor Survey, which was conducted by the Washington-based Center for Audit Quality. That’s down 11 percentage points from the 2017 survey.

Of those expressing confidence, 19% agreed that the economy was growing and will continue to improve, while 16% were buoyed by strong U.S. stock performance.

Among poll-takers who expressed a lack of confidence, 38% blamed a “lack of leadership in the Trump administration,” while an additional 20% indicated a “fear of trade war or uncertainty around the status of free trade agreements,” according to the survey.

Eighty-one percent of all survey-takers, meanwhile, said they were confident in public company auditors, down 3 percentage points.

“Investors overall are confident in our system, they are confident in auditors and U.S. publicly-traded companies,” said Cindy Fornelli, executive director of the Center for Audit Quality.

The organization’s survey gathered the opinion of participants with at least $10,000 invested in capital markets. The poll was gathered online from 1,100 participants between Aug 20 and Aug. 21. The results have an margin of error of 3%.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he will impose fresh tariffs on about $200 billion in Chinese goods as part of his efforts to pressure Beijing to change its commercial practices. This round of tariffs target thousands of goods ranging from luggage to seafood, extending the impact to a broad swath of American consumers. China retaliated with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods.

And while the U.S. stock market edged higher Tuesday — the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.71% — shrugging off the White House moves and Beijing’s response, bullish sentiment dipped recently among financial advisers surveyed in the latest weekly Investors Intelligence poll.

The percentage of financial advisers who are bullish on the market fell to 57.7% from 60% a week ago, while bearish sentiment ended slightly higher at 18.3% from 18.1% last week, according to Investors Intelligence.

Respondents in that poll cited concerns over the lack of growth in autos and housing sector and weakness in commodities.