As election results rolled in, global and futures markets responded to the surprisingly close contest by plummeting, with the Dow dropping nearly 800 points. Follow along here for continuing updates on how the world financial markets are responding to the election of Donald Trump as 45th president of the United States.
While the U.S. election was still being decided on Tuesday night, markets in Asia took a dive during active trading as Donald Trump pulled ahead of projected-winner Hillary Clinton.
But markets in Asia bounced back this morning: An hour into trading, the Nikkei is up 6 percent, wiping out losses from yesterday. Stocks in Hong Kong and Shanghai have also recovered: Both the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite have soared pass yesterday’s losses. (An odd sidenote: a stock in China which sounded like “Trump Wins Big” rallied while another stock which sounded like “Aunt Hillary” tumbled as votes were still being counted.)
It’s worth watching how investors in China will react to the actual Trump presidency. After all, the candidate has suggested that China’s economic relationship with the U.S. might get a lot more complicated once he takes office. During the course of his presidential campaign, Trump accused China of devaluing its currency (a claim that has been debunked) and unfairly taking manufacturing jobs away from Americans. Trump has also suggested imposing a 45 percent tariff on Chinese-made goods in order to reduce the trade deficit and bring jobs stateside, which would create a trade war between the two nations and undoubtedly affect China’s economic growth.
Reuters reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Trump in a message earlier today, stating that he’s looking forward to working with Trump to “uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation." For now, stocks in China, like those in the U.S., seem accepting of the impending Trump administration.
At the end of trading hours on Wednesday, it certainly seems that investors have digested Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. Presidential election.
The Dow, S&P 500, and NASDAQ all rallied back from precipitous drops in the futures markets, with each closing up by at least 1 percent. The reversal was swift and intense—for the S&P the bounce back was largest since the days of the 2008 banking crisis. The Dow closed up 257 points, after diving 800 points last night in futures trading. Many analysts are attributing the market’s fast recovery to the tone of Trump’s late night acceptance speech, along with the potential benefits for Wall Street a Trump presidency could hold. Though Wall Street was expecting a Clinton win, the numbers seem to indicate that it is just as welcoming to the Trump presidency.
Asian markets open in just a few hours, and their performance tonight will either validate election night panic in emerging markets (the Nikkei plunged 5 percent, while the Hang Seng fell by 2 percent), or evaporate in the face of U.S. investor confidence.
DeVry Education Group is up 9 percent in today’s trading; Apollo Education Group, the company that owns several for-profit institutions—including the University of Phoenix—is up 7 percent; Bridgepoint Education (which was forced to forgive $24 million in student debt by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) up 17 percent; and Strayer Education (one of the most successful for-profit colleges) is up 12 percent.
The premise for investor confidence is that for-profit colleges—which have come under intense scrutiny in recent years by The Department of Education for fraudulent marketing, bad results, and saddling students with student-loan debt—might enjoy looser regulatory oversight once Trump becomes President. Afterall, Trump University, which shuttered in 2010, was a for-profit education company. Before Trump is sworn in next year, he will appear in court just after Thanksgiving as a witness in a class-action civil trial over alleged fraud at Trump University.
Bloombergreports that the billionaire investor Carl Icahn—a long time Trump supporter—left the president-elect’s victory party in the wee hours of the morning to bet $1 billion on the U.S. stock market.
Icahn’s take was that the 100-point drop in the S&P 500 was a temporary and irrational reaction that would soon reverse itself. And it looks like he was right, near the close of trading, the S&P was up more than 1 percent—the largest reversal for the index since the 2008 crisis.
The companies are soaring as analysts reckon that Trump will row back on the Department of Justice’s ruling this summer to phase out privately run jails. The companies could benefit still further from Trump’s plan for the mass deportation of immigrants.
And what about oil?
During his campaign, Trump has pledged to implement what he calls an “America first energy plan.” That plan calls for total energy independence achieved by undoing President Obama’s executive actions meant to curb energy production or emissions in favor of more climate-friendly policies, more exploration of shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, and exploration of “clean coal”.
Conversely, Trump has said that he would reverse the current U.S. commitment to battle climate change, including pulling out of the Paris Agreement. My colleague Robinson Meyer wrote about the potential environmental consequences of a Trump presidency here, saying:
This could shatter the international consensus on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, similar to how the second Bush administration’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol effectively ended that treaty’s functional life within the United States. It could enable other countries to abandon their commitments and emit greenhouse gases at much higher rates.
While markets have rebounded broadly, there are still big winners and big losers today.
At the conclusion of this election, concerns over the diminished power of the second amendment have seemed to dissipate. With Americans no longer concerned that a Clinton presidency would mean stricter gun control laws, the sense of urgency causing some to stock up on arms may have eased, causing a drop in major gun manufacturing stocks, such as Smith and Wesson, which declined by more than 3.75 percent around 12:20pm.
On Monday, world markets surged ahead on the projection that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton would narrowly capture the presidency.
U.S. indicators—the Dow, the Nasdaq, and the S&P 500—rose 2 percent on forecasts predicting a Clinton victory.
But as the tides began to change last night—with Donald Trump pulling an eventual upset to become the U.S. president-elect—the market began to react. For a variety of reasons, markets don’t always respond well to uncertainty. The market shifts were somewhat predictable: the peso plunged to a record low, U.S. futures dived, Asian markets—particularly the Nikkei which dropped 5 percent by close—also dived, while gold rallied big. Analysts noted that the volatility seen last night was much greater than following the surprising result of the Brexit vote earlier this year.
This is not the outcome investors anticipated, but U.S. markets have since recovered: all three indices are surging ahead gaining nearly 1 percent by noon.
So why are the markets worried? First of all, the policy statements of Mr Trump have been both vague and erratic—on issues such as trade, foreign policy, the independence of the Federal Reserve and even the commitment to repay Treasury bonds in full. What is hard to know is how serious his policy proposals might be, and how much Congress would allow him to enact. He has more freedom in foreign policy areas than in the domestic arena. That is why emerging markets might take the greatest hit.
President Trump, forced to choose between working with business leaders and espousing white identity politics, has chosen the latter.
Updated on August 16 at 3:59 p.m.
While Donald Trump is on vacation, there are major renovations going on in the West Wing. Perhaps they’ll alter plans and include a portcullis and a moat, because the White House is under siege.
The president is once again facing loud denunciation (though so far little else) from members of his own party. Vice President Pence is cutting short an overseas trip and returning home to an administration in crisis. And Wednesday afternoon, the president announced he was pulling the plug on a manufacturing council and a strategy and policy forum, both comprised of business leaders, after a spree of defections in reaction to Trump’s handling of violence in Charlottesville.
If the president is concerned about violence on the left, he can start by fighting the white supremacist movements whose growth has fueled its rise.
In his Tuesday press conference, Donald Trump talked at length about what he called “the alt left.” White supremacists, he claimed, weren’t the only people in Charlottesville last weekend that deserved condemnation. “You had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” he declared. “Nobody wants to say that.”
I can say with great confidence that Trump’s final sentence is untrue. I can do so because the September issue of TheAtlantic contains an essay of mine entitled “The Rise of the Violent Left,” which discusses the very phenomenon that Trump claims “nobody wants” to discuss. Trump is right that, in Charlottesville and beyond, the violence of some leftist activists constitutes a real problem. Where he’s wrong is in suggesting that it’s a problem in any way comparable to white supremacism.
The legend of the Confederate leader’s heroism and decency is based in the fiction of a person who never existed.
The strangest part about the continued personality cult of Robert E. Lee is how few of the qualities his admirers profess to see in him he actually possessed.
Memorial Day has the tendency to conjure up old arguments about the Civil War. That’s understandable; it was created to mourn the dead of a war in which the Union was nearly destroyed, when half the country rose up in rebellion in defense of slavery. This year, the removal of Lee’s statue in New Orleans has inspired a new round of commentary about Lee, not to mention protests on his behalf by white supremacists.
The myth of Lee goes something like this: He was a brilliant strategist and devoted Christian man who abhorred slavery and labored tirelessly after the war to bring the country back together.
Charlottesville marks a new era of even bolder assertion of the right to threaten violence for political purposes.
It could have been so much worse.
Like ISIS attackers in Europe, the Charlottesville murderer used a car as his assault weapon. But Charlottesville this past weekend was crammed with anti-social personalities carrying sub-military firearms. It could just as easily have been one—or more—of those gun-carriers who made the decision to kill. If so, Americans might this week be mourning not one life lost to an attack, but dozens.
As recently as 2009, the nation retained a capacity to be shocked when individuals carried weapons to political events. Such was the case in Phoenix, Arizona, on August 18, 2009:
A man toting an assault rifle was among a dozen protesters carrying weapons while demonstrating outside President Obama's speech to veterans on Monday, but no laws were broken. It was the second instance in recent days in which weapons have been seen near presidential events.
Anti-Semitic logic fueled the violence over the weekend, no matter what the president says.
The “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville was ostensibly about protecting a statue of Robert E. Lee. It was about asserting the legitimacy of “white culture” and white supremacy, and defending the legacy of the Confederacy.
So why did the demonstrators chant anti-Semitic lines like “Jews will not replace us”?
The demonstration was suffused with anti-black racism, but also with anti-Semitism. Marchers displayed swastikas on banners and shouted slogans like “blood and soil,” a phrase drawn from Nazi ideology. “This city is run by Jewish communists and criminal niggers,” one demonstrator told Vice News’ Elspeth Reeve during their march. As Jews prayed at a local synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, men dressed in fatigues carrying semi-automatic rifles stood across the street, according to the temple’s president. Nazi websites posted a call to burn their building. As a precautionary measure, congregants had removed their Torah scrolls and exited through the back of the building when they were done praying.
The scientists are all talking like it’s a sure thing.
On August 21, the “moon” will pass between the Earth and the sun, obscuring the light of the latter. The government agency NASA says this will result in “one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights.” The astronomers there claim to have calculated down to the minute exactly when and where this will happen, and for how long. They have reportedly known about this eclipse for years, just by virtue of some sort of complex math.
This seems extremely unlikely. I can’t even find these eclipse calculations on their website to check them for myself.
Meanwhile the scientists tell us we can’t look at it without special glasses because “looking directly at the sun is unsafe.”
Antifa’s activists say they’re battling burgeoning authoritarianism on the American right. Are they fueling it instead?
Since 1907, Portland, Oregon, has hosted an annual Rose Festival. Since 2007, the festival had included a parade down 82nd Avenue. Since 2013, the Republican Party of Multnomah County, which includes Portland, had taken part. This April, all of that changed.
In the days leading up to the planned parade, a group called the Direct Action Alliance declared, “Fascists plan to march through the streets,” and warned, “Nazis will not march through Portland unopposed.” The alliance said it didn’t object to the Multnomah GOP itself, but to “fascists” who planned to infiltrate its ranks. Yet it also denounced marchers with “Trump flags” and “red maga hats” who could “normalize support for an orange man who bragged about sexually harassing women and who is waging a war of hate, racism and prejudice.” A second group, Oregon Students Empowered, created a Facebook page called “Shut down fascism! No nazis in Portland!”
The president used a narrow condemnation of neo-Nazis to mount a defense of the politics of white resentment.
President Trump’s short press conference Tuesday afternoon was remarkable for seeming cogent. In so many of his public statements Trump wanders, free-associates, digresses, and seems either incapable or uninterested in piecing together complete sentences. The fact that he didn’t seem to be improvising made his defense of some of those who participated in a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, more important.
It was the clearest and most precise articulation of a view that Trump has espoused since the start of his political career. The president worked to draw a fine distinction between different elements of the march, and in the process to rescue his own vision of pride in white America from being tarnished from association with neo-Nazis. Trump mounted a defense of a political movement rooted in pride about Confederate symbols and white heritage by seeking to disassociate it from its more extreme elements.
More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.
One day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas. She answered her phone—she’s had an iPhone since she was 11—sounding as if she’d just woken up. We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with her friends. “We go to the mall,” she said. “Do your parents drop you off?,” I asked, recalling my own middle-school days, in the 1980s, when I’d enjoy a few parent-free hours shopping with my friends. “No—I go with my family,” she replied. “We’ll go with my mom and brothers and walk a little behind them. I just have to tell my mom where we’re going. I have to check in every hour or every 30 minutes.”
Those mall trips are infrequent—about once a month. More often, Athena and her friends spend time together on their phones, unchaperoned. Unlike the teens of my generation, who might have spent an evening tying up the family landline with gossip, they talk on Snapchat, the smartphone app that allows users to send pictures and videos that quickly disappear. They make sure to keep up their Snapstreaks, which show how many days in a row they have Snapchatted with each other. Sometimes they save screenshots of particularly ridiculous pictures of friends. “It’s good blackmail,” Athena said. (Because she’s a minor, I’m not using her real name.) She told me she’d spent most of the summer hanging out alone in her room with her phone. That’s just the way her generation is, she said. “We didn’t have a choice to know any life without iPads or iPhones. I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.”
President Trump’s remarks on the deadly white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville have sparked widespread outrage. But the White House is asking congressional Republicans to follow his lead.
Every day, the White House communications office sends official talking points to Republican members of Congress. These communiqués help the GOP stay on the same page (and, in the Trump era, help the embattled president’s allies come up with arguments in his defense).
On Tuesday evening, a few hours after the president’s inflammatory press conference defending white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, the office issued an “evening communications briefing,” which was passed along to me by a Republican congressional aide. It encourages members to echo the president’s line, contending that “both sides … acted inappropriately, and bear some responsibility.”
You can read the talking points in their entirety here. The links in the text are the White House’s. The briefing goes on to include a transcript of the president’s question-and-answer session with reporters at Trump Tower, followed by commentary on other issues.