Global risk asset prices have been propped up by easy monetary policies and depressed government bond yields. However, a sustained lift-off will need rising corporate earnings expectations for 2020. Such a catalyst first awaits a turnaround in the areas of economic weakness in the past year. There are a number of indicators and political developments needed to achieve lift-off, particularly German manufacturing sentiment, U.S. import growth and a sustained period of better Chinese retail sales. The odds of such a turn for the better hinge on much diminished trade tensions, which remains difficult to forecast given the erratic nature of U.S. trade policy and Chinese willingness to retaliate. The longer trade uncertainty persists, the greater the risk that the economic expansion will falter. Stay tuned.