Will U.S. companies trade with China? What contributed to the dollar’s decline? And, how will Amazon celebrate its 20th birthday as a publicly traded company? Get the answers to these questions and more in this week’s Steady Investor’s Week…

To Trade, or Not to Trade – that is the question! And the answer is unclear. On the one hand, free market enthusiasts (like Zacks Investment Management) received some good news late last week as the U.S. and China revealed a new “10-point package.” This package has designs of allowing American companies and agencies to open up shop in China, which would mark a huge opportunity for the U.S. The Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, said the import/export deals with China on beef, poultry, natural gas, agriculture, financial services and biotechnology will help reduce the trade deficit with Beijing – a clear goal of the Trump administration. Meanwhile, our relationship with our neighbors continues to operate on shaky ground. Mexico sent a message that they too will look to China as a new export partner in the event that NAFTA deteriorates, which ultimately seems to benefit China more than anyone else. What feels like a victory and a threat to the U.S. was then muddied by a G7 comment from U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, when he said, “We do not want to be protectionist, but we reserve our right to be protectionist to the extent that we believe trade is not free and fair.” To trade or not to trade? That is the question.

The U.S. Dollar Enters a Volatile Patch – the greenback posted one of its best weeks in years two weeks ago, followed by a brief tumble just last week. The relative strength and weakness of the dollar, respectively, seemed to stem from solid inflation and retail data released two weeks ago along with the Fed’s decision to keep rates in check. Then, last week, turmoil in the White House as uncertainty rules the day led to the dollar’s consecutive day decline, reversing the gains made in the previous week. Healthy economic data from Europe also contributed to the dollar’s relative weakness, as Germany in particular posted strong GDP data.

Investors Should Use Caution in Wake of Malware Attacks – Zacks Investment Management is not an information technology company nor would we claim expertise in matters such as the recent “WannaCry” malware attack. But we would urge caution to all to take great care in opening unfamiliar attachments in email and making sure your computer is operating on the latest software updates, which are often put in place to prevent malware attacks. It was revealed that the success of the “WannaCry” malware attack was rooted in the failure of many to update Windows-based computer systems.

Amazon Celebrates 20 Years – Can you believe it? Amazon has now been a publicly traded company for 20 years, meaning that it has been in business for several years longer than that. It’s amazing how quickly the company has gone from a small online startup trading at $1.50 a share, to now an online behemoth trading for $960 a share on a split-adjusted basis. Amazon had its humble beginnings, you may recall, as an online bookseller, and has now grown to the seller of, well, basically everything. That includes physical consumer goods but also its rapidly growing cloud business, where some of its fastest growth is rooted. So, what is Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos doing to celebrate? They’re angling for more growth, of course. Amazon has now reportedly hired a business to help it break into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market. With the rise of high-deductible plans and the trend towards consumers paying for healthcare, Amazon believes it is as good a time as any to enter the lucrative but also risky business. Amazon’s goal is growth, which would mean adding to its current market cap of $465B, with annual revenues of $136B.

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