Limping to the finish line. That's how it feels on a day when stocks just seemed to wilt and one of the best performers, closing in on its 52-week high, is Boeing (BA) , usually thought to be at the epicenter of the China trade skirmish or war or tussle or whatever you want to call it.
We are putting the quarter to bed and one of the biggest stories of this last month is that the stocks with the most to lose in a China war seemed to blossom or at least stand out as winners not losers.
That's why Boeing is worth examining. About one out of every four planes that Boeing makes goes to China and these are orders that could, obviously, be shifted to Airbus (EADSY) . I think that if things were really falling apart between the two countries Boeing's stock should be dramatically lower, not higher. It's all part of the endless confusion about who really does get hurt from the tariffs.
I know I have felt that the perception of the tariffs, the bark, not the bite, is overdone given how quickly companies are switching supply chains to avoid China.
But it doesn't matter. The "China stocks," as I call them are truly controlled by tweet. When the president tweets something horrendous about China, they go down. When he is preoccupied by something else, they go up.
It's impossible to know what the president will do except he does seem to get consumed occasionally by some issues that sidetrack his disdain for our trading partners and when the cats away the mice, like Boeing, tend to play.
The resilience of these stocks in the face of tariffs is a reminder, once again, about the power of stocks to hold their own in an environment where money just keeps coming in. That's been the story of the quarter. The endless flows. I don't see why they will stop as we turn the calendar to the final quarter.