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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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
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