The already-battered Dow Jones is scrambling to avoid a fourth-straight beating, as the US stock market recovers from sharp pre-bell losses thanks to a little help from an honorary member of President Donald Trump’s “Plunge Protection Team.”
Dow Mounts Shaky Advance
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell nearly 100 points during the pre-market session before recovering into positive territory. As of 9:16 am ET, though, they were down 29 points or 0.11 percent. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures fell 0.06 percent and 0.02 percent, respectively.
On Wednesday, the Dow slid by 133.17 points or 0.52 percent, ending in the red for the third consecutive day. The index needs a major rally to reclaim the 26,000 level from its previous-day close at 25,673.46.
The S&P 500 lost 18.20 points or 0.65 percent and now sits at 2,771.45 – less than a week after closing above 2,800 for the first time since November 2018.
The Nasdaq, meanwhile, plunged by 70.44 points or 0.93 percent to 7,505.92. The Nasdaq has not closed below 7,500 since Feb. 21.
Donald Trump Faces Deluge of Setbacks
Thursday’s shaky start comes amid a flurry of negative news for President Donald Trump, who reportedly desires to make a booming stock market the cornerstone of his reelection campaign.
Despite his emphasis on border security, unauthorized border crossings have reached a 12-year high. Supporters will blame that on Democrats for refusing to allocate the border wall funding he requested, as well as Republicans like Rand Paul for opposing his emergency declaration. Nevertheless, that border crossing spike is happening on his watch, and he has not been able to negotiate a compromise with Democrats or keep his own party in line.
Trump Only Wants a Trade Deal so He Can Pump the Plunging Dow https://t.co/mGldlRtrsG
— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets) March 6, 2019
Then there’s the seemingly never-ending trade war with China, which – despite Trump’s promises – failed to prevent the US trade deficit from ballooning to a new record.
And yesterday, NBC News reported that North Korea had begun rebuilding a long-range missile launch site, just a week after President Trump boasted that he had secured Kim Jong-Un’s promise that his government would not initiate any new missile tests.
Suffice to say, it’s not been a banner week for the president, and the stock market’s disappointing performance hasn’t helped.
ECB Joins Trump’s Plunge Protection Team
Donald Trump’s “Plunge Protection Team” – the nickname for the president’s Working Group on Financial Markets – has done a remarkable job at stabilizing the stock market since it first convened on Christmas Eve.
In the less than three months that followed that phone call, the Dow surged by nearly 20 percent from its low at 21,792.20, notching nine consecutive weeks of gains.
However, that winning streak ended last Friday, and the Dow has now recorded three straight losing sessions. It initially appeared to be on track for a fourth, as futures fell by nearly 100 points to indicate a sharp drop at the open.
However, stock futures spiked ahead of the opening bell after the European Central Bank announced a third round of stimulus to pump up eurozone bank lending and further reversed plans to raise interest rates.
It seems Trump’s Plunge Protection Team has a new pinch hitter, but will it be enough to lift the Dow into the green?