Steve Bannon exit won’t change the story in stocks


Any shake-ups in the Trump White House won’t fundamentally change the story in stocks, money manager and popular blogger Josh Brown told CNBC on Friday.

U.S. stocks turned higher Friday after a report by The New York Times said that President Donald Trump has removed his chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Axios first reported that Bannon could be out. NBC News confirmed the news. The report came one day after stocks fell on speculation Trump’s top economic advisor Gary Cohn could be resigning.

“Bigger picture, I don’t feel like this is really changing peoples’ positioning, whether or not Goldman Sachs is going to win out over the Klan inside the White House,” the CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management said on “Halftime Report” before the Times report.

“I don’t think people are saying, ‘Oh, that’s it, Cohn is staying. Put another $10 million into the Spooz. I really don’t think that’s how people are behaving,” he added.

Some analysts suggest a Bannon exit could be positive for the markets because it would make it less likely that Cohn would leave. Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, is seen by investors as essential to Trump’s push for tax reform. Bannon and Cohn have reportedly been in a power struggle.

Brown, writer of the widely read blog The Reformed Broker, said at the margin there are some trades based on Cohn staying in his position.

“Which would you prefer? Hawkish behavior and trade wars with China? Or tax reform? I’ll take the tax reform,” Brown said.

Bannon said in a recent interview that the U.S. is already in an “economic war with China” and declared there is “no military solution” to North Korea.

Brown also said, “I just don’t think you can draw the dots and say this changes everything for investors.”

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