These aren’t people who oppose everything Trump is doing. “We did need to resolve outstanding issues with China,” says Gokhman, though a coordinated approach with other countries that focused on intellectual property theft would’ve been preferable to a “sporadic” one that risks stymieing capital investment.

To Chiavarone, 35, it’s “absolutely a battle worth fighting.” A technological revolution is going on, “and the country that controls the intellectual capital that’s driving that revolution will very likely be the world’s preeminent power,” he said. Still, tactics matter, “and undoubtedly the ratcheting up of tariffs has a negative impact on earnings, sentiment and financial markets.”

In remarks to reporters Friday, Trump played down his impact on markets this month, pointing to the rally in stocks since he took office -- 49% in the Dow average on a total-return basis. “We’re at 25,000, so don’t tell me about 600 points,” he said. He reiterated the point in a tweet Sunday night, saying, “Had my opponent won, CRASH!”

Equities are smartly up in 2019 and despite swings that lifted the Cboe Volatility Index average 40% in August versus July, the S&P 500 has fallen just 5.9% from its July 26 record. On the other hand, with Friday’s drop, it’s down four straight weeks and has slipped below the highest level of January 2018, meaning anyone who bought stocks during that month’s surge is nursing losses.

“Sentiment is sentiment and it can become a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy if it goes on long enough,” said Nathan Thooft, Manulife Asset Management’s head of global asset allocation. “Investors -- retail and professionals -- run the risk of getting whipsawed. And it certainly appears that they have been based on the quick back and forth moves of the market.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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