NEW YORK (Reuters) - Grand jury subpoenas have been issued in connection with a June 2016 meeting that included President Donald Trump’s son, his son-in-law and a Russian lawyer, two sources told Reuters on Thursday, in a sign that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is gathering pace.
The sources added that Mueller had convened a grand jury in Washington to help investigate allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
ANDREW BRENNER, NATALLIANCE SECURITIES, NEW YORK:
“Bonds view this as a flight to quality while stocks had a minor hiccup. The Euro is near the highs of the day. This makes the placement of Treasuries going into tomorrow’s employment number at the recent highs, not a good risk reward.”
JIM PAULSEN, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, THE LEUTHOLD GROUP, MINNEAPOLIS:
“We’re going to get a fair number of these headlines. It’s going to take a while, whatever happens. Anything that represents volatility is an automatic sell (for stocks).
“I’m not even sure if beyond the volatility there’s much of Wall Street that would get terribly upset if (Trump) got impeached. That would give them (current Vice President Mike) Pence, and likely full power for Republicans and maybe some policies being enacted including health care, tax reform and a fiscal spending programme. Even reinforce less regulations.
“From a Wall Street standpoint I can’t say over the long term that (a Trump impeachment) would be a bad result for stocks. The uncertainty of going through it all would be a negative, but I’m not sure the market would remain lower for long, assuming all else is equal.”
AXEL MERK, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER OF MERK INVESTMENTS IN PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA:
“Given that Trump’s approval rating is very low, and given that it might be all but impossible to find a jury that hasn’t heard of the allegations, odds are this jury might be leaning against Trump. This is yet a negative for the administration, and with that, if recent months are any guide, it is a negative for the dollar. And so yes, sure enough, the euro rallied on this. This is good news for the euro, this should be good news for gold…and it is ultimately a negative also for risk assets only for the reason that the Trump agenda has ever more difficulty of being realized because it does weaken the presidency. The hopes for real growth picking up are just diminishing the more headwinds the administration is getting.”
CHRIS ZACCARELLI, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CORNERSTONE FINANCIAL PARTNERS, HUNTERSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA:
“To the extent that people are afraid something will happen to the presidency of the United States, whether that brings us closer to impeachment or serves as a further distraction for the administration, neither of those are good for the markets or a risk-on position.”
“It’s more distraction for the White House and less stability … It definitely was market moving. The timing lines up perfectly. The immediate drop was probably computer driven but people aren’t taking advantage of the dip.”
JUAN PEREZ, CURRENCY STRATEGIST, TEMPUS INC, WASHINGTON DC:
”The world is paying attention and ultimately currencies are weighed to measure the stability of a country, whether you can have faith in what’s going on or not … I think with this investigation and the constant bombardment of news out of the White House the rest of the world is starting to see this image of somewhat of an unstable U.S., which is somewhat unprecedented. And now politics, even more than economic data, is really a driver of dollar weakness.”
“What’s really going to weigh heavily on the dollar for the remainder of the year is that as long as this investigation continues and there is a probe and the White House continues to work on everything except the economic agenda it’s going to weigh heavily on the dollar. The reaction was certainly immediate (to the news). Looking at it long-term, is this going to affect the dollar in a negative way? Absolutely it is.”
STOCKS: U.S. stocks extended losses, with the S&P falling around 0.2 percent after the news, then tracking back slightly.
BONDS: U.S. bond yields fell to session lows.
FOREX: The US dollar index .DXY fell around 0.17 percent in the minutes after the news, then tracked back slightly.
Americas Economics and Markets Desk; +1-646 223-6300
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