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Why Advanced Micro Devices Stock Just Popped 10%

By Rich Smith - Dec 3, 2018 at 12:39PM

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Calling a truce in the U.S.-China trade war could mean good things for AMD.

What happened

Shares of semiconductor maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD 5.64%) are advancing in midday Monday trading, up 10.8% as of 1:15 p.m. EST and near their highs of the day so far. You can thank President Trump for that -- and CNBC.

So what

Multiple news outlets are reporting that U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have called a 90-day truce in the trade war that has seen each country levy tens of billions of dollars in new tariffs on each other's exports. While nothing has been set in stone and, indeed, nothing may ever even come of the renewed trade negotiations by the time the deadline for making a deal is reached in early March, investors are feeling optimistic today. Already, the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq are all up more than 1% apiece.

Chinese yuan notes on top of a business newspaper.

Today's business news out of China is good news for AMD. Image source: Getty Images.

As for AMD in particular, it seems to be benefiting from a positive mention of its prospects on CNBC today, which noted that, according to a Goldman Sachs report published in July of last year, AMD depends on sales to China for about 26% of its annual revenue stream. Assuming this is true, an improvement in trade between the U.S. and China would directly benefit AMD by making its semiconductors cheaper and more attractive to Chinese buyers.

Now what

In fact, things could be even better than CNBC describes. You see, in preparing its report on "20 stocks" that "could be the big winners from the China trade truce," CNBC relied on old data from Goldman Sachs that understates the importance of Chinese trade to AMD. In fact, though, more current data from S&P Global Market Intelligence shows that through the end of 2017, sales to China (including Taiwan) actually made up not 26% but 33% of AMD's total sales.

Long story short, if you agree with CNBC's thesis that a trade war truce is good news for AMD, it's actually probably seven percentage points better news than you initially thought it was.

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