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.
Boris Johnson’s un-seriousness may have finally caught up to him.
We were in the White Room in 10 Downing Street, and Boris Johnson was joking around with the photographer who was taking his portrait. “You’re like the kind-of taxidermist in The Godfather,” Johnson said, laughing. “Do you remember? The funeral—the undertaker?” He then launched into his Don Corleone impression. “‘Buona sera, buona sera, see what a massacre they’ve made of my son.’ Do you remember? ‘Use all your arts, use all your arts.’”
The scene was almost perfectly Johnsonian, capturing the British prime minister’s instinct to amuse and distract, to pull a veil of humor over anything remotely serious. Watching him can be like watching a child, in this instance a child shuffling uncomfortably having his picture taken, desperate to grin and ruffle his hair, to mock and undermine, to play up to the inherent absurdity of the situation.
Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market. Even worse: The new-music market is actually shrinking.
Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market, according to the latest numbers from MRC Data, a music-analytics firm. Those who make a living from new music—especially that endangered species known as the working musician—should look at these figures with fear and trembling. But the news gets worse: The new-music market is actually shrinking. All the growth in the market is coming from old songs.
The 200 most popular new tracks now regularly account for less than 5 percent of total streams. That rate was twice as high just three years ago. The mix of songs actually purchased by consumers is even more tilted toward older music. The current list of most-downloaded tracks on iTunes is filled with the names of bands from the previous century, such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Police.
This was always unsustainable. Now it’s simply impossible.
Last Thursday, a group of 20 mothers in Boston met up outside a local high school. Their goal wasn’t to socialize, drink wine, or even share COVID-related tips. They were there for one reason and one reason only: to stand in a circle—socially distanced, of course—and scream.
“I knew that we all needed to come together and support each other in our rage, resistance and disappointment,” Sarah Harmon, the group’s organizer, wrote on Instagram before the gathering. Ironically, some 20 other moms who had RSVP’d “yes” had to cancel at the last minute because they or other family members had COVID, Harmon told me.
When mothers feel there is no more appealing way to spend an evening than to yell into the frigid January darkness, something is very, very wrong. Parents in the United States are living through a universally terrible moment. For two years, we’ve been spending each and every day navigating an ever-changing virus that’s threatening not only our well-being but our livelihoods. The situation has reached a fever pitch during this wave, when we’re expected to function normally even though nothing is normal and none of the puzzle pieces in front of us fit together.
Years after these titles were popular, they’re still worth picking up.
Hundreds of thousands of books are published in the United States each year, and this dramatic influx of titles largely runs the calendars of the publishing and media industries—usually to the detriment of any work that isn’t brand new. Even best sellers or novels by famous authors get lost in the deluge, and books that were beloved on release can fall off readers’ radar quickly. But many were popular or critically acclaimed for good reasons, and they’re worth revisiting.
Here is a list of 15 fiction titles from the past two decades that you may have forgotten about in the years since. Some are from familiar names such as Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, and Louise Erdrich; others are by authors you may not have heard of at all. These selections include plenty of drama, and there’s an undercurrent of gentle comedy, even in novels with dark themes or plots. Their characters define love in many different ways, and they seek fulfillment across geographies and time periods—contemporary London, Vichy France, Nigeria, North Korea. Ultimately, these stories are bound together by a compassion for their characters’ struggles and shortcomings—a quality that only our finest writers are able to cultivate.
The new variant seems to be our quickest one yet. That makes it harder to catch with the tests we have.
It certainly might not seem like it given the pandemic mayhem we’ve had, but the original form of SARS-CoV-2 was a bit of a slowpoke. After infiltrating our bodies, the virus would typically brew forabout five or six daysbefore symptoms kicked in. In the many months since that now-defunct version of the virus emerged, new variants have arrived to speed the timeline up. Estimates for this exposure-to-symptom gap, called the incubation period, clocked in at about five days for Alpha and four days for Delta. Now word has it that the newest kid on the pandemic block, Omicron, may have ratcheted it down to as little asthree.
If that number holds, it’s probably bad news. These trimmed-down cook times are thought to play a major part in helping coronavirus variants spread: In all likelihood, the shorter the incubation period, the faster someone becomes contagious—and the quicker an outbreak spreads. A truncated incubation “makes a virus much, much, much harder to control,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told me.
The former cast member Will Forte brought eccentric comedy to last night’s show, and it was a relief.
Before the former Saturday Night Live cast member Will Forte made his hosting debut on the show yesterday, one of the more memorable moments from his eight-year tenure circulated online. In a 2005 sketch, Forte played a timid, overwhelmed spelling-bee contestant. When asked to spell the word business, he produced a deadpan, 75-letter sequence of consonants. As would so often occur during his time on SNL, Forte bulldozed past absurdity to find fresh hilarity. The current cast member Bowen Yang shared the clip on Instagram with the caption “legend.”
Forte is a champion of eccentricity, adeptly playing awkward, tightly wound characters whose veneer often comes close to shattering—if it hasn’t already. Last night, Forte revisited his version of weird, bringing a playful looseness that generated this season’s strongest night thus far. After the previous particularly bleak episode, Forte’s presence was a welcome shift for SNL. Instead of wrestling with the bizarreness of our present reality, the show leaned into a jubilant zaniness of its own. Forte’s comedy felt like a release—and the cast responded with vigor.
Robert Malone claims to have invented mRNA technology. Why is he trying so hard to undermine its use?
Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET on August 23, 2021
Robert Malone—a medical doctor and an infectious-disease researcher—recently suggested that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines might actually make COVID-19 infections worse. He chuckled as he imagined Anthony Fauci announcing that the vaccination campaign was all a big mistake (“Oh darn, I was wrong!”) and would need to be abandoned. When he floated that nightmare scenario during a recent podcast interview with Steve Bannon, both men seemed almost delighted at the prospect of public-health officials and pharmaceutical companies getting their comeuppance. “This is a catastrophe,” Bannon declared, beaming at his guest. “You’re hearing it from an individual who invented the mRNA [vaccine] and has dedicated his life to vaccines. He’s the opposite of an anti-vaxxer.”
Decades-old laws that protect car dealers are keeping the U.S. stuck in the gas-powered past.
Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET on January 21, 2022
The Rivian R1T, the $75,000 debut pickup from America’s new electric-truck maker, is unlike any vehicle I have ever driven.
It is, first, really big: 18 feet long and six feet tall, it weighs three and a half tons, heavier than a white rhinoceros or a tricked-out Ford F-150. But this girth is belied by everything else about it. The R1T has an aesthetic unity missing from every mass-market automobile on the road, Teslas included. Like an iPhone, it feels like a cohesive product designed by a single team: The same colors, angles, and textures appear on its seat cushions, its door interiors, its onscreen interface. It can even be—just look at the yellow flashlight hidden in its passenger-side door—downright charming.
Today’s norms of responsiveness are ridiculous. We shouldn’t apologize for failing to meet them.
At first, being reachable all the time felt good. To professionals who started using BlackBerries 20 years ago to conduct business on the go, it registered as a superpower. “They felt like masters of the universe,” Melissa Mazmanian, an informatics professor at UC Irvine who studied the devices’ uptake in the early 2000s, told me. But as more people got mobile devices, responding to messages anytime became the norm among co-workers as well as friends and loved ones. The superpower morphed into an obligation.
This is an evolution that Mazmanian refers to as the “spiral of expectations.” When communication technology makes a new thing (like responding on the go) possible, doing that thing can be a way for people to signal how dedicated they are as workers or family members—and, crucially, not doing that thing can suggest that they aren’t dedicated enough. Now when people feel they haven’t responded sufficiently quickly, they think they owe their correspondent an apology.