The next-level gathering, unless it is stymied by the government shutdown, will continue three days of midlevel discussions in Beijing that wrapped up on Wednesday with a sense of progress but few specific resolutions.
This fight does have some winners: Tariffs on Chinese and American cars could bolster automakers in Japan. Restrictions on American soybeans could help farmers in Brazil and Canada.
But investors want resolution. The standoff has shaken global markets, and signs of optimism from negotiators lifted stocks this week. Today in Asia, the Hang Seng, Nikkei, Kospi and Shanghai Composite indexes all closed higher.
Espionage in China: A Chinese employee of Huawei and a Polish employee of the French telecommunications company Orange have been arrested in Poland, charged with spying for the Chinese government.
Patience is the Fed’s new watchword
Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chairman, said the central bank would evaluate the health of the economy before any further interest rate increases, using the word “patience” four times in his remarks. Financial markets have shown signs of anxiety about the economic outlook, but Mr. Powell said 2018 was “a very good year for the economy.” The Fed, he said, saw signs of continued momentum.
In other Fed news: Most private economists expect it to hold interest rates steady at least until June, according to a WSJ survey. Last summer, the Fed’s policy of quantitative tightening was expected to lift bond yields, but in the topsy-turvy world of Wall Street, the reaction has reversed in just a few months.
Earnings season is looking ugly
The forecast on Wall Street calls for plenty of pessimism, as a slew of companies slashed their financial predictions and announced cost-cutting measures yesterday:
• American Airlines said a measure of fourth-quarter revenue would gain just 1.5 percent, after previously promising as much as 3.5 percent. Delta, which will report its earnings on Tuesday, made a similar announcement earlier this month.