Stock investors loaded up on defensive trades could get whiplashed by shifts in the economic and monetary outlook spurred by a breakthrough on trade.

All year the fixed-income rally has pumped havens in the stock market including so-called bond proxies -- companies with steady dividend payouts. U.S. utilities, for instance, are trading 1% away from an all-time high. The sector is now trading near records versus the coming year’s forecast earnings. By that measure consumer staples are also near the priciest in more than 18 months.

Commodity investors face a gut check too.

Gold’s recent retreat from a six-year high -- spurred by a stronger dollar and trade optimism -- has not deterred investors from piling in. Holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds rose for 19 sessions in a row on Thursday, the longest run of inflows since 2009. Any signs that the Federal Reserve may not cut rates as sharply as expected thanks to an improving global backdrop would also temper gold’s rally, as seen on Thursday.

This article provided by Bloomberg News.

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