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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The U.S. is embroiled in a full-on trade war, but markets continue to notch new highs. For the most part, investors have shrugged off the trade drama. But it’s not because investors don’t care about trade.

The bottom line: The markets view bad news on trade fights as just part of President Trump's bluster and negotiation strategy while good news is seen as actual progress. "Any de-escalation is a victory," says James Liu, founder of Clearnomics, a research firm.

As Lindsey Bell, a strategist at CFRA, puts it, investors buy into the “all’s well that ends well” theory: the tariffs are part of Trump’s negotiating tactics and the trade war will ultimately be resolved.

  • Bell said stocks "seemingly react more positively to the good news, and less negatively to the bad news.”

Bad news was no big deal in June when the Trump administration said it would move forward with the tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, and the country vowed it would retaliate, or the week in July when President Trump said he was “willing” to impose tariffs on all $505 billion in goods the U.S. imported last year from China.

But markets rallied after President Trump made headway with NAFTA negotiations, and stocks hit new highs.

Bottom line: If there was no trade war, Bell said the market would be higher than it is now. Trade uncertainty puts a "ceiling" on stocks, which she said is not necessarily a bad thing.

Go deeper

White House unveils landmark reports on climate links to security, migration

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday released a sweeping set of assessments on how to view threats that climate change poses to national security and its role in fueling migration.

Why it matters: One of the key products, a formal National Intelligence Estimate on climate change, marks the first time all 18 elements of the U.S. intelligence community have released a consensus report on the topic.

Scoop: Garland defends DOJ's handling of Jan. 6 probe

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland will tell the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that federal prosecutors "are doing exactly what they are expected to do" in seeking accountability for the "intolerable assault" on the Capitol on Jan. 6, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Allies of former President Trump, including Republican congressmen, have criticized the department's treatment rioters charged with crimes, and sought to recast the insurrection as a righteous protest. Garland's testimony with be his first appearance before the panel.

Updated 55 mins ago - World

Police charge man with murder of British MP David Amess

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Police said Thursday that Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man, has been charged with the murder of David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K.

The big picture: Last week, the Metropolitan Police declared the fatal stabbing a terrorist incident, saying that they had found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."