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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.

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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 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

5 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.