Donald Trump appears to have stopped taking credit for the performance of the stock market. Coincidentally – or not – he’s fallen shtum as the Dow Jones fell by more than 1,150 points, erasing all the gains it has made for the year.
Speaking at an event in Ohio on Monday afternoon, the President was notably silent on the market, despite repeatedly taking credit for its performance when indices were rising (see analysis below).
Just last week, during his State of the Union address last week, Trump said:
The Stock Market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion and more in value in just this short period of time. Trump, just last week.
And in an interview on 17 January – the same day as his last triumphant tweet on the stock market - Trump said he has been getting kudos from people grateful for increased 401(k) retirement plan values.
He also said believed the markets would have tanked if his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election.
If the Democrats won the election, the stock market would have gone down 50 percent from where it was, and now look at the percentage increase. It's a record increase. Trump, just last month.
White House spokesman Raj Shah, in an adjustment to the administration’s usual message about stocks, told Reuters aboard Air Force One en route to Ohio on Sunday: “Look, markets do fluctuate in the short term. We all know that ... But the fundamentals of this economy are very strong and they’re headed in the right direction.”
Trump’s bullish stance on the bullish market was inevitably going to backfire and is the reason previous American presidents have traditionally avoided commenting directly on Wall Street’s fickle trends.
As HuffPost UK reported back in October last year, stocks have been on an upward trend since the end of the Great Recession in 2009.
This upswing is what’s known as a Bull Market and this particular run was 106-months-old, meaning only 14 of them belong to Trump.
The rest belong to President Barack Obama.
Trump was quick to blame President Obama for any downturns in the market but it remains to be seen if he will be willing accept the same responsibility.
The benchmark Dow Jones industrial average soared 42% between election day in 2016, when Trump won the presidency, and its historic peak a week ago above 26,400.
On Monday, the Dow fell to below 24,000 but regained some of its midday losses to close at 24,345. In the past five trading days, the index has erased all its gains since late November.
Trump first tweeted as President about the Stock Market on 16 February, a day on which the Guardian reported the “MSCI’s all-country index hit record highs.”
(Note this only applies to tweets and does not include mentions made in speeches and addresses)
Since then, he has regularly lauded the rise in the markets and frequently attacked the “fake news” media for not reporting it.
JULY - 7 MENTIONS
AUGUST - 3 MENTIONS
SEPTEMBER - 2 MENTIONS
OCTOBER - 8 MENTIONS
NOVEMBER - 8 MENTIONS
DECEMBER - 9 MENTIONS
JANUARY - 7 MENTIONS
FEBRUARY - 0 MENTIONS