Market frustration will build soon if Trump can’t push tax reform


Closely followed trader Art Cashin said Friday that “a sense of frustration will build” in the market if President Donald Trump and Congress can’t get their act together on tax reform.

“The fact that they’ve failed on a couple of levels. If it doesn’t look like they’re putting their act together on something like taxes … if they look that ineffectual as we get into September, then it’s gonna be a problem,” UBS’ director of floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange said on “Squawk on the Street.”

In an interview with the Financial Times published Friday, Trump’s top economic advisor, Gary Cohn, said the president will launch a major push for tax reform next week.

Cashin said investors breathed a sigh of relief after Cohn, who is Jewish, told the Financial Times he would not resign after Trump’s remarks on a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virgina. “As a Jewish-American, I will not allow neo-Nazis ranting ‘Jews will not replace us’ to cause this Jew to leave his job. I feel deep empathy for all who have been targeted by these hate groups. We must all unite together against them,” Cohn said in the interview.

Cohn added that the administration “must do better” when condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

But Cashin said investors are “a little concerned about saying that the administration can do better.”

That interview came as Congress attempts to avoid a government shutdown. Cashin said investors are calling Trump’s bluff and hope that Congress has learned their failures.

Regarding Hurricane Harvey, Cashin said he believes it will not be a market mover Friday. A lot of it will depend on what the storm’s final course is, he said. If it moves further east, it could put a few refineries out of business, Cashin added.

“That could reinforce the idea that maybe a little less demand for crude because you can’t process it well enough and maybe some shortage of gasoline,” he said.

Cashin also spoke about the monetary policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He said he doesn’t think Fed Chair Janet Yellen will say anything surprising and expects European Central Bank President Mario Draghi to say nothing.

“It looks like Jackson Hole might turn out to be a duller-than-expected event,” Cashin said. “Now (Yellen) could always surprise us but I think she wants to be very careful about not disturbing the market.”

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