The day I thought would come the day after Election Day 2016 is finally here. I thought the stock market would tank after Donald J. Trumpet became president of the United States.
But it never happened. Instead, in a kind of financial Groundhog Day, the stock market went up and up and up. And Trumpet, who never misses a moment to inject himself into every story, continuously took credit for this.
But now he has started a trade war, and the Dow futures are down 400 points on the news that economic adviser Gary Cohn is the latest to bail on the White House. The bet is that the Dow will open Wednesday down 1,000 points.
How much do presidents actually influence the market? Probably only somewhat. The market, like the economy, goes in cycles. But I do think policy or even a remark can move the market on any one day. The Dow had a helluva year last year on the promise of deregulation and tax cuts, which businesses like. But a trade war, with everyone shouting “my tariff is going to be bigger than yours,” just hurts business – and keeps the market bouncing around like a knuckleball.
Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride from here on in – till the next Election Day.