(Bloomberg) — As noon struck Thursday amid the latest U.S.-China trade talks, the S&P 500 turned south for no apparent reason.
“They order the wrong lunch for the meeting?” @selling_theta tweeted.
It was a joke, but investors could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. While trade headlines have whipsawed markets for nearly two years, the heightened sensitivity this week has turned almost comical.
The equity benchmark shot higher Wednesday after the Global Times said China’s delegation would be huge. It jumped again early Thursday on news the bunch had landed. It took another leg up mid-morning when Donald Trump signaled the talks will go into Friday as planned, even as he cast doubt on whether he wanted to make a deal.
“It’s getting kind of ridiculous,” Matt Maley, equity strategist at Miller Tabak + Co., said by phone. “The market moves from every little blast.”
That’s not to say traders shouldn’t pay attention. They’ve waited weeks to get some sign that the dispute would move toward a resolution as indications mount that it is taking a toll on the global economy. And there’s been some signs that the two nations may be willing to compromise, including reports of a potential currency pact in a mini deal, more agricultural purchases and the allowance of some sales to Chinese telecom giant Huawei.