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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

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 488170

Reported Deaths: 6602
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1012851589
Ramsey43273808
Dakota36543394
Anoka33430390
Washington22183261
Stearns18786202
St. Louis14866265
Scott13381107
Wright12580116
Olmsted1184890
Sherburne877174
Carver783241
Clay694587
Rice672291
Blue Earth599635
Kandiyohi580674
Crow Wing522782
Chisago501045
Otter Tail485570
Benton449290
Winona420049
Mower410031
Douglas393768
Goodhue388069
Nobles387147
Polk344663
McLeod340550
Beltrami338751
Morrison326247
Itasca314246
Becker313942
Lyon313844
Isanti308256
Steele303011
Carlton300249
Freeborn285824
Pine282616
Nicollet261541
Todd249230
Brown247237
Le Sueur237420
Mille Lacs229047
Cass221024
Waseca210117
Meeker208134
Martin190629
Wabasha18713
Roseau180917
Hubbard160741
Houston158114
Dodge15384
Renville151640
Redwood147127
Fillmore13908
Pennington137716
Chippewa136835
Cottonwood135920
Wadena131320
Faribault124517
Aitkin119233
Watonwan11798
Sibley117610
Rock116114
Kanabec108119
Pipestone101824
Yellow Medicine97717
Murray9538
Jackson94210
Swift87818
Pope8095
Marshall78415
Stevens7468
Lake74218
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68616
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5122
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson40921
Red Lake3615
Traverse3105
Lake of the Woods2221
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 336947

Reported Deaths: 5491
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51993559
Linn19497317
Scott17149212
Black Hawk14956293
Woodbury13828214
Johnson1314875
Dubuque12444195
Dallas1021893
Pottawattamie9877146
Story963545
Warren514076
Clinton502184
Cerro Gordo500683
Webster495588
Sioux479869
Marshall464273
Des Moines427961
Muscatine425693
Buena Vista412637
Wapello4042110
Jasper387267
Plymouth368578
Lee354453
Marion341171
Jones285055
Henry279837
Bremer270255
Carroll266649
Crawford253535
Boone244030
Benton240854
Washington239247
Mahaska215746
Jackson209939
Dickinson204140
Tama202865
Kossuth198655
Delaware186140
Clay184425
Winneshiek183228
Fayette179235
Page177919
Buchanan177829
Wright174231
Hamilton173842
Cedar172723
Hardin169839
Harrison167670
Clayton160154
Butler159231
Mills148420
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145541
Allamakee144148
Madison143018
Iowa140323
Hancock138030
Grundy132230
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129411
Cass129251
Jefferson128634
Appanoose123347
Louisa122444
Mitchell120540
Chickasaw119915
Union119131
Sac118718
Shelby117433
Emmet115440
Humboldt113725
Guthrie109628
Franklin109219
Palo Alto101321
Howard99522
Montgomery96936
Clarke95020
Keokuk92529
Monroe89828
Adair81529
Ida81532
Pocahontas80919
Davis76523
Monona76427
Greene73110
Lucas72121
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Unassigned6590
Taylor64112
Decatur5699
Fremont5599
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50620
Audubon4769
Wayne47121
Adams3184
Rochester/St. Mary'S
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Hi: 49° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 35°
Mason City
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35° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 28°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 47° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 29°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 29°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 24°
Winds will pick up for Sunday
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