The S&P 500 hit fresh highs on Monday as traders found new optimism about the trade deal between the United States and China that is supposedly in the works. The index closed at a high of 2964.33, gaining 0.77 percent for the day. The NASDAQ closed up 1.06 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.44 percent on Monday.
Despite the gains on Wall street and the overall surge of stock prices in recent months, a recent survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research that cited by MarketWatch showed that President Donald Trump, the man many claim is responsible for the United States' strong economy, is facing weak approval ratings. According to the report, most Americans do not think that they are personally benefitting from Trump's trade policies. Though 47 percent of Americans admit to approving Trump's economic policies, only 40 percent approve the way he deals with taxes and trade negotiations.All-in-all, Trump's approval rating stands at 38 percent, a comparatively low percentage compared to other presidents who had economic success during their tenure.
Among the factors contributing to Trump's low approval rating are concerns, confusion and a general lack of knowledge surrounding his new tax policy (including concerns that the tax breaks weren't generous enough), his treatment of Mexican migrants at the border, and continued threats of tariffs against countries that are supposed to be friends of the U.S.
Asian shares were unable to harness the optimism shown during Monday's New York trading session. South Korea's Kospi was down 0.16 percent as of 10:20 a.m. HK/SIN, and the Shanghai Composite was down 0.21 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index managed to eke out gains of 1.29 percent, while the Shenzhen Composite gained a modest 0.06 percent in the first hour of the trading day. Australia's benchmark ASX 200 was up 0.32 percent on fresh expectations that the country's Reserve Bank of Australia will cut its benchmark cash rate to a record low of 1 percent, a decision that will be announced later on Tuesday.