Tariffs

Survey: Small business confidence hits record high

#ShopSmall stickers
#ShopSmall stickers are pictured at the Boston General Store in Coolidge Corner in Brookline, MA on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A record percentage of small business owners are optimistic about current business conditions, according to the latest CNBC/SurveyMonkey Confidence Index.

Why it matters: The index, which calculates sentiment among more than 2,000 business owners, returned to a record high of 62/100 in Q3 2018 after concerns over the Trump administration's trade policy and imposition of tariffs caused a 1-point dip in Q2 2018.

Trump's trade war with China fuels drop in farm prices

Workers unloading bags of soybeans at a port in China
Workers transferring sacks of animal feed made from soybeans imported from Brazil at a port in Nantong, China. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Prices for U.S. agricultural exports plummeted 5.3% in July, driven primarily by a 14.1% decline in soybean prices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why it matters: In 2016, soybeans accounted for 12% of U.S. exports to China, prompting American farmers to ramp up their production. China is now attempting to curb its consumption of soybeans as part of its escalating trade war against the U.S., helping drive the largest single-month drop in farm export prices since October 2011.