Stocks surge as Christmas spared tariff price hikes

President Trump once boasted he was “tariff man” — but now wants to play Santa Claus.

Christmas came early this year when Trump administration trade officials said they would delay imposing tariffs on a series of popular consumer goods — just in time for the holidays.

Costly tariffs that were to be imposed on cellphones, laptops, toys and other hot gift items starting Sept. 1 will now take hold on Dec. 15 instead, according to the announcement by the office of the US Trade Representative.

The delay gives retailers time to stock up ahead of the holidays — and delay passing on any price increases to consumers until 2020.

Wall Street rejoiced by sending shares of iPhone maker Apple up 4.2%, making it the biggest gainer on the Dow. Gadget seller Best Buy’s shares shot up 6.5% as other tech toys, including video game consoles, were added to the delayed list.

The Trump administration also made allowances for some popular winter items like gloves, sweaters and outerwear — helping boost Kohl’s — up 2.9% — and Walmart, up 2.1%. Also spared were Christmas lights and ornaments, according to the Trade Representative’s new Dec. 15 tariff list.

“We’re doing this for the Christmas season,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday. “Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on US customers.”

The reprieve sent the Dow Jones industrial average soaring more than 500 points soon after the announcement was made, later retreating slightly to close up 372.54 points, at 26,279.91. The S&P 500 index and Nasdaq composite index gained 1.5% and 2.0%, respectively.

The delay follows a tumultuous two weeks of trading spurred by Trump’s threat to impose 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods from China starting Sept. 1.

Tech companies and retailers, who rely on overseas

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