Investors still think a trade war is the top risk for stocks, but normalized central bank policy is now a close second, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s latest survey of over 200 global fund managers.

Expand chart
Data: BofA Merrill Lynch Global Fund Manager Survey; Note: Surveys of 231 panelists with combined $646B assets under management conducted Aug. 3–9, Sept. 7–13, and Oct. 5–11, 2018; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Investors are uneasy about a global end to quantitative easing — or central banks’ use of bond purchases to push down rates — even though both the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are still buying (despite slowing down).

  • Notably, this survey was conducted during the stock market's two-day rout, which was widely believed to be sparked by fears of Fed hawkishness.

Other survey findings:

  • Fears about a China slowdown moderated in October. "European populism" was the fourth biggest risk, according to those surveyed.
  • 85% of those surveyed said the global economy is in its "late cycle," the most since December 2007.
  • 35% of respondents think corporate earnings won't improve by 10% or more in the next year, but back in February 35% said they did expect earnings to improve by that amount.

Go deeper

Updated 47 mins ago - World

China says U.S. is "endangering peace" with high-level visit to Taiwan

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during a June briefing in Washington, DC. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Tuesday night he will lead a delegation to Taiwan "in the coming days."

Why it matters: It's the highest-level visit by a U.S. cabinet official to Taiwan since 1979. Azar is also the first U.S. Cabinet member to visit the island state in six years. The visit has angered China, which views Taiwan as part of its territory. Chinese officials accused the U.S. Wednesday of "endangering peace" with the visit, AFP reports.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 18,543,662 — Total deaths: 700,714 — Total recoveries — 11,143,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 4,771,236 — Total deaths: 156,807 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — Local governments go to war over schools.
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll.
  5. Politics: Trump's national security adviser returns to work after coronavirus recovery Republicans push to expand small business loan program.
  6. Sports: Indy 500 to be held without fansRafael Nadal opts out of U.S. Open.
Updated 3 hours ago - World

At least 100 killed, 4,000 injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: At least 100 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured in the blast — and the death toll is likely to rise, the Lebanese Red Cross said, per AP. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for the past six years.