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US-China trade war is a ‘very low probability’

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A full-blown trade war between the United States and China, a worry that sent the averages far into the red on Monday, has a “very low” chance of happening, strategist Scott Wren told CNBC.

As a market-wide sell-off drove stocks down to correction-level lows, Wren said on CNBC’s “Fast Money” that China’s newly imposed tariffs on U.S. goods were a “mini-shot over the bow” in the broader scope of global trade relations.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of extreme targeting of tariffs” played out over the next few years, Wren, a senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said on Monday.

“The volume of trade between the two countries is obviously huge and what the tariffs are actually on is pretty small, so I don’t think we’re going to see a big escalation.”

Wren told CNBC’s Melissa Lee that he expected to see a lot of renegotiation between U.S. and Chinese policymakers in lieu of a more heated battle.

“I think the bottom line for us is that an all-out trade war is a low probability,” the strategist said.

Wren did worry about the White House’s proposed tariffs on China for alleged intellectual property theft, long a point of tension between the two countries.

The strategist anticipated “some give” in the technology stocks as a result — considering such companies’ large lines of business in China.

“They’re not about to give up their technology and their rights to [selling into China],” Wren said. “The administration, they need to go after this intellectual property problem because it is a huge problem and if it didn’t come to the boiling point now, it certainly would at some point down the road.”

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Stock moves, currencies, China inflation data

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Reflections of pedestrians on an electronics stock indicator at the window of a securities company in Tokyo, Japan.

Toshifumi Kitamura | AFP | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks fell in early Tuesday trade, following a sell-off in tech stocks that weighed down major U.S. indexes overnight.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined around 0.97% while the Topix moved 0.6% lower. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.57%.

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched down 0.43%.

U.S. markets fell overnight as investors exited Big Tech stocks including Microsoft and Apple. The Nasdaq Composite suffered the largest loss, falling by 2.5%.

China’s inflation data for April will be on investors’ watchlist. Analysts polled by Reuters expect Chinese consumer prices rose 1% last month from a year ago, accelerating from 0.4% in March.

China is also expected to release results of its once-in-a-decade population census.

Elsewhere in the region, Southeast Asian countries Malaysia and the Philippines are scheduled to report first-quarter gross domestic product data.

Analysts in a Reuters poll expect Malaysia’s economy to shrink 2% in in the January-to-March quarter compared with a year ago and the Philippine economy to contract 3% in the same period.

Currencies and oil

In the foreign exchange market, the U.S. dollar was at 90.238 against a basket of its peers in early Asia trade.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 108.87 per dollar, while the Australian dollar strengthened around 0.11% against the greenback to $0.7838.

In oil markets, U.S. crude futures dipped 0.06% to $64.88 per barrel, while global benchmark Brent was down 0.1% to $68.25 per barrel.

CNBC’s Thomas Franck contributed to this report.

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Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF falls to new low for the year

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Cathie Wood’s flagship fund Ark Innovation hit its lowest point of the year on Monday amid further selling in innovation stocks.

Ark Innovation‘s 5% drop on Monday dragged the “disruptive innovation” ETF below its March low, a level that many investors are watching as a barometer for the larger tech sector.

Ark Innovation is now nearly 35% off its most recent high: $159.70 on Feb. 16.

Wood’s core ETF is now down more than 13% this month and more than 16% year to date.

Some of Ark Innovation’s top holdings took big hits on Monday as the Nasdaq Composite dropped more than 2.5%. Tesla fell 6.4% and Teladoc Health dropped 6.6%. Square and Roku fell 7.3% and 4.9%, respectively. DraftKings declined 6.4% and Zillow lost 5.1%.

Wood told CNBC on Friday that she loves the setup for her ETFs following the most recent sell-off in technology stocks. She said she envisions her strategies posting a compound annual rate of return of 25% to 30%.

“I love this setup,” Wood said Friday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “The worst thing that could have happened to us is to have the market narrowly focus on just our ilk of stock — the innovation space.”

However, more than $1.1 billion of fund flows have left Ark Innovation this month. Ark Invest — including its five core ETFs — has lost about nearly $2 billion in investor dollars in May, according to FactSet.

200-day moving average long gone

Ark Innovation broke below its 200-day moving average, a key technical level watched by traders that is essentially the average of the past 200 closing prices.

“The issue with ARKK and other speculative growth ETFs is that short-term rallies have been aggressively faded for three months now,” Frank Cappelleri, Instinet executive director, told CNBC. “The ETF will have to do more than just bounce for a few days to convince traders otherwise.”

“In other words, simply getting back above the 200-day moving average won’t mean much without upside follow through. That continues to be the biggest concern,” Cappelleri added.

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Ford names new F-150 electric pickup Lightning with plans to reveal it May 19

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Ford’s all-electric F-150 will be called Lightning. The all-new F-150 Lightning will be revealed May 19 at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn and livestreamed.

Ford

DETROIT – Ford Motor’s upcoming all-electric F-150 pickup truck will be called Lightning, a name used by the automaker for street performance trucks in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Ford released the name Monday along with plans to unveil the truck at 9:30 p.m. EDT on May 19. The reveal will take place at the company’s world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. It will be broadcast across social media platforms as well as 18 high-profile public spaces such as Times Square in New York City and Las Vegas Boulevard, the company said.

All-electric pickups are expected to be important growth areas for automakers in the coming years, particularly for commercial business to rental fleets, companies and governments. Ford has promised its pickup will be a true work truck in an attempt to differentiate it from other competitors such as the Tesla Cybertruck or GMC Hummer EV.

Ford CEO Jim Farley gave a nod to Tesla as well as Toyota Motor for their contributions to electrification in a press release on Monday announcing the company’s plans.

“Every so often, a new vehicle comes along that disrupts the status quo and changes the game … Model T, Mustang, Prius, Model 3. Now comes the F-150 Lightning,” Farley said in a statement. “America’s favorite vehicle for nearly half a century is going digital and fully electric.”

Farley said the F-150 Lightning will be able to “power your home during an outage; it’s even quicker than the original F-150 Lightning performance truck; and it will constantly improve through over-the-air updates.”

Production of the pickup is scheduled to begin next spring at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan, Ford said. It’s expected to arrive in dealerships by mid-2022.

The F-150 Lightning is due out months after other electric pickups such as the GMC Hummer EV, Tesla Cybertruck and start-ups such as Rivian and, potentially, Lordstown Motors. All of the vehicles aside from Lordstown’s Endurance pickup, which is targeted at fleet customers rather than individual consumers, are expected to be “lifestyle” vehicles rather than work trucks. General Motors also has confirmed plans for an electric Chevrolet pickup that’s expected to be focused more on traditional truck customers than lifestyle buyers.

Correction: Ford used the Lightning name for street performance trucks in the 1990s and early 2000s. A previous version of this article misstated when it was last used.

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