From a trade war with China to U.S. military action in Syria, President Donald Trump’s proposed policies and tweets continue to stir uncertainty for investors whose buying and selling have been sporadic in recent weeks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average — which has slipped nearly 9 percent since its all-time highs in January — opened down 200 points today after the commander in chief took to Twitter to threaten missile strikes in Syria. (As of 12:55 p.m. ET, the Dow remained in the red 140 points to 24,266, the S&P 500 shed 7 points to 2,650, and the Nasdaq slid 2 points to $7,091.
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria,” he wrote Wednesday morning. “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
He followed up with two more tweets about the United States’ strained relationship with Russia, writing: “Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama…”
Over the past several weeks, the stock market has borne the brunt of a range of sentiments posted by the president via his Twitter account, at least one of which was firmed up via a new trade policy.
On April 4, the Dow opened down nearly 500 points after China hit back against the Trump administration’s list of about 1,300 China-made items — or $50 billion in goods — on which it would impose an additional 25 percent tariff.
The markets took another plunge on April 6, mere hours after Trump said he was considering another wave of tariffs on China imports, to the tune of $100 billion.
Then, on April 9, the Dow climbed more than 400 points on the heels of news that Larry Kudlow, Trump’s chief economic adviser, told reporters at the White House that the country was not in a trade war with China. (Kudlow also expressed optimism that the trade issues could be resolved within three months.)
The president’s disdain for Amazon has also weighed on the markets in recent months.
The Dow tumbled more than 500 points on the first trading day of April — and all of the other major indexes followed suit — after Trump took to Twitter yet again to take aim at the e-giant’s tax treatment as well as its use of the United States Postal Service.
“Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon,” he wrote. “THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed. Also, our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country…not a level playing field!”