- President Donald Trump attempted to dismiss the stock market’s December fall during a meeting on Wednesday.
- “We had a little glitch in the stock market last month,” Trump said during a Cabinet meeting.
- Stocks booked their worst December since 1931 last month, and the three major US indexes posted their biggest annual declines since 2008.
President Donald Trump seemed to brush off the stock market’s dismal December on Wednesday, attributing the worst December since the Great Depression to a “little glitch.”
“We had a little glitch in the stock market last month, but it’s still up about 30% from the time I got elected,” Trump said during a Cabinet meeting at the White House.
The president also predicted that stocks would climb again when new trade deals were completed.
“It’s going to go up once we settle trade issues and once a couple of other thing happen it’s going to go up,” Trump said. “It’s got a long way to go, tremendous amount to go.”
Last month was the worst December for the market since 1931, during the Great Depression. But outside the month, all three major indexes also posted their largest annual declines since 2008 – the depths of the financial crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2018 down 5.6% for the year, while the S&P 500 declined 6.2% and the Nasdaq fell 3.9%.
Investors and analysts offered a wide variety of explanations for the declines, including the Federal Reserve’s recent interest-rate hikes and a slowdown in global economic growth. But some reasons also centered on Trump’s own policies, such as the ongoing trade war with China, tariffs on steel and aluminium, and uncertainty over the government shutdown.
Trump has long taken credit for the soaring stock market during the early part of his administration, but has noticeably slowed mentions of stocks as the market moved sideways and eventually tanked at the end of last year.
Despite an ugly start to the day, stocks appear to have found some footing on the first trading day of 2019. All three major indexes are in the green Wednesday, with the Dow up just under 30 points, or 0.1%, and the S&P up roughly 7 points, or 0.3%, as of 2:00 p.m. ET.
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