Throughout his first two years in office, whenever Trump wants to prove his worth, he had one place to point: the Dow Jones Industrial Average. No fewer than 81 times, Trump has taken to his Twitter account with some claim about a “record day” on Wall Street or “a new high” for stocks. Naturally, Trump ignored the fact that the market had trended up through both terms of Barack Obama’s presidency, ending his presidency 250 percent higher than when he took office. Trump was particularly proud of market gains after Republicans passed their big tax-cut package in November 2017—a bill that was designed specifically to benefit corporations and wealthy investors.
And then … a funny thing happened. While the Dow did jump on the news of the tax cuts, moving from 23,500 all the way to a peak of 26,700 in September of 2018, it then started to fall. By October, Trump was forced to tweet that the markets were “taking a little pause,” by which he meant they were down over 1,000 points. And by November … in November of 2018, Trump stopped tweeting about the markets. And for good reason: By that point, the market had surrendered all its gains for the year. By the start of 2019, the stock market was below where it was when Republicans passed their tax bill.
The stock market returned to Trump’s tweets on Friday morning, but only so that he could blame Democratic victory in the election for “disruption to the Financial Markets.” Only … that’s not how the markets see it. As CNN Business reports, the Dow plummeted again on Thursday after Apple temporarily suspended trading in its own stock and announced that it would miss previously reported revenue targets. But Apple wasn’t alone. Reports rolled out on Thursday showing that production at American factories dropped more steeply last month than at any time since the crash in 2008.
That’s not because of Democrats. It’s not because people are just getting tired of buying new smartphones. It’s because of one big problem that is roiling the economy:
The closely-watched ISM manufacturing index tumbled to a two-year low, providing further evidence of slowing growth and pain from the US-China trade war. ISM said manufacturing activity is still growing, but suffered a “sharp decline” last month.
Trump has stated that trade wars are “good” and “easy to win.” In fact, he even tweeted that “you can’t lose a Trade War!” But Trump finds a way.
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