Trump and Macron: Strange bedfellows

Quest's Profitable MomentThe relationship between French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald T...

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 11:10 AM
Updated: Feb 2, 2018 11:10 AM

Quest's Profitable Moment

The relationship between French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump simply defies explanation.

For decades, the European leader holding the ear of the U.S. president has traditionally been Britain's prime minister.

Think of Kennedy and Macmillan. Reagan and Thatcher. Even Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. Trump and May? Not so much. It's Emmanuel Macron who seems ready to keep the transatlantic relationship alive.

Macron has succeeded where all others have failed, managing to criticize U.S. policies without becoming the latest Twitter target. In Trump's eyes, Emmanuel seems to do no wrong.

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Trump will finally hold his first state dinner this year, and the honored guest has already been chosen. Emmanuel Macron -- youthful, energetic, with a desire to bring about serious economic change.

Maybe it's the drive for reform that unites the two presidents. Though their strategies to bring about change are starkly different.

Macron's declaration to business leaders and world trading partners that "France is back" is at odds with Trump's policies, perceived as protectionist and divisive.

So how has this relationship come about?

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were called "political soulmates," ideologically in step from Day One. Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump appear to be more "political odd couple" than anything else.

Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking, "Opposites attract, Richard." (So they tell me.)

Well, if we want to draw comparisons between love and politics, in this particular case, I think there's an old adage a bit more apropos: "Politics makes strange bedfellows."

Stock market enters rollercoaster mode

The quiet on Wall Street has been broken, sending investors on a rollercoaster ride.-The Dow suffered its worst two-day drop of the Trump era-earlier this week.-The sell-off, occurring right before the State of the Union, came at a bad time for a president who likes to brag about the market boom. While stocks have bounced back, the rebound has been bumpy. Some think market euphoria is overdone, especially given the turmoil in the bond market. Treasury yields have crept up to levels unseen since 2014.-Former Fed chief Alan Greenspan even warned that the market is in a "bubble." So is this the long-awaited pullback, the start of a more serious downturn or just a blip? Stay tuned.

-- Matt Egan

Can Trump fix 'injustice' of health care prices?

It's been a tough week for health care stocks. Big Pharma companies tumbled after President Trump renewed his campaign promise to lower drug prices. And big insurers and pharmacy chains got whacked after JPMorgan Chase, Amazon and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced a plan to offer health insurance to their employees. Investors probably have good reason to be nervous. Amazon has a history of disrupting retail. It did so to the book business and is shaking up supermarkets with its Whole Foods deal. Could lower drug prices and insurance premiums be next?

-- Paul R. La Monica

NAFTA talks make progress, but major divide remains

The United States, Canada and Mexico are making progress on renegotiating their trade pact. Very. Slowly. Negotiators concluded the sixth round of NAFTA talks Monday with a mix of optimism and criticism. Canada offered what amounts to a counterproposal on a divisive issue (auto manufacturing) but the United States found it unacceptable. Still, all three sides agreed to continue talking for at least two more rounds. Experts say that is undoubtedly better than President Trump pulling the United States out of NAFTA.

-- Patrick Gillespie

Fuji takes over Xerox

It's the end of an era. Japan's Fujifilm is taking control of Xerox and shedding 10,000 jobs at their existing joint venture in Asia. Xerox was a tech pioneer. In 1959, it debuted the first photocopier, a product that would become ubiquitous in offices around the world. But Xerox was swallowed up in the digital era by a different technology it helped develop at its Palo Alto research lab: personal computers.-In 1979, Steve Jobs toured the facility. Xerox had been an early investor in Apple before it went public in 1980. But Xerox was too big and focused on copiers to make the shift to computers. It missed out on the pot of gold it discovered.

-- Nathaniel Meyersohn

Quick takes

Alan Greenspan thinks the stock and bond markets are "bubbles."

Mysteriously low inflation may not be a problem for the incoming Fed chair.

McDonald's cheaper menu items are a big hit.

It's a caffeine lover's dream: Dr Pepper Snapple is merging with Keurig.

What's next

Jobs report: On Friday, the Labor Department will report the number of jobs the U.S. economy added in January. Economists forecast 175,000 new jobs and expect the unemployment rate to remain at 4.1%.

Energy earnings: ExxonMobil, Chevron, Valero and Phillips 66 report earnings on Friday. Exxon announced earlier this week that it will invest $50 billion of the money it expects to save from U.S. tax cuts.

Powell takes over the Fed:-Jerome Powell is about to take the helm of the world's most influential central bank. Powell will begin his four-year term as Federal Reserve chairman on Saturday, the Fed announced. He will replace Janet Yellen.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 93012

Reported Deaths: 2040
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Hennepin26447926
Ramsey10697319
Dakota7354125
Anoka5935132
Stearns390924
Washington368955
Scott250033
Olmsted236728
Nobles195416
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Wright15737
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Rice13228
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Sherburne112514
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Waseca6128
Steele5332
Freeborn5323
Benton5303
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Todd4872
Crow Wing48118
McLeod4752
Chisago4711
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Otter Tail4224
Beltrami4055
Martin37210
Goodhue3519
Pine3090
Itasca30314
Polk2984
Douglas2862
Isanti2790
Becker2642
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Jackson1411
Faribault1360
Swift1271
Houston1210
Koochiching1213
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Roseau1170
Pennington1161
Fillmore1110
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Grant594
Lake580
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Marshall501
Mahnomen461
Red Lake421
Traverse290
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Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 83644

Reported Deaths: 1294
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15697261
Woodbury526363
Johnson508627
Black Hawk443688
Linn3941110
Story340517
Dubuque310141
Scott292628
Dallas275138
Pottawattamie206838
Buena Vista197212
Marshall177034
Sioux15043
Wapello131457
Webster121614
Plymouth110420
Clinton109920
Muscatine109154
Crawford10655
Cerro Gordo101821
Warren9486
Jasper81732
Des Moines7647
Marion7536
Tama70431
Henry6854
Carroll6535
Lee6207
Wright5721
Dickinson5086
Boone5008
Bremer4837
Washington45311
Louisa42815
Mahaska39119
Delaware3833
Franklin34618
Floyd3363
Jackson3303
Winneshiek3246
Hamilton3223
Clay3164
Lyon3074
Benton3061
Hardin2951
Winnebago28913
Poweshiek2788
Butler2672
Buchanan2651
Clarke2643
Jones2643
Emmet26010
Shelby2581
Allamakee2566
Kossuth2540
Chickasaw2470
Clayton2443
Sac2440
Guthrie2416
Cedar2381
Cherokee2352
Grundy2193
Madison2122
Fayette2112
Harrison2073
Iowa1981
Mitchell1880
Howard1866
Humboldt1843
Palo Alto1830
Calhoun1793
Hancock1772
Mills1771
Cass1602
Monroe15710
Pocahontas1562
Lucas1536
Page1530
Osceola1510
Monona1451
Jefferson1371
Appanoose1333
Union1283
Taylor1271
Davis1244
Ida1151
Van Buren1131
Fremont1100
Keokuk1051
Worth1040
Greene990
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