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.
A series of damaging stories about the president's methods of consoling grieving Gold Star families represent the president’s latest entirely self-inflicted wound.
The question to President Trump on Monday sounded relatively innocuous: “Why haven't we heard anything from you so far about the soldiers that were killed in Niger? And what do you have to say about that?” It’s certainly not the kind of question that seemed likely to set off several days of heated controversy.
But the hubbub that has ensued, centering on Trump’s response to the deaths of four soldiers in Niger and, more broadly, the way he deals with grieving military families, is yet another example of how this president inflicts crises on himself. This pattern has happened several times since Trump entered office, with the tussle over the size of his crowd on Inauguration Day and his claim that Barack Obama “wiretapped him.” In each case, Trump’s bluster and his seeming obsession with Obama have led him to commit serious unforced errors.
The staggering scope of the country’s infrastructure initiative—and what it means for the international order
The Pakistani town of Gwadar was until recently filled with the dust-colored cinderblock houses of about 50,000 fishermen. Ringed by cliffs, desert, and the Arabian Sea, it was at the forgotten edge of the earth. Now it’s one centerpiece of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, and the town has transformed as a result. Gwadar is experiencing a storm of construction: a brand-new container port, new hotels, and 1,800 miles of superhighway and high-speed railway to connect it to China’s landlocked western provinces. China and Pakistan aspire to turn Gwadar into a new Dubai, making it a city that will ultimately house 2 million people.
China is quickly growing into the world’s most extensive commercial empire. By way of comparison, after World War II, the Marshall Plan provided the equivalent of $800 billion in reconstruction funds to Europe (if calculated as a percentage of today’s GDP). In the decades after the war the United States was also the world’s largest trading nation, and its largest bilateral lender to others.
A small group of programmers wants to change how we code—before catastrophe strikes.
There were six hours during the night of April 10, 2014, when the entire population of Washington State had no 911 service. People who called for help got a busy signal. One Seattle woman dialed 911 at least 37 times while a stranger was trying to break into her house. When he finally crawled into her living room through a window, she picked up a kitchen knife. The man fled.
The 911 outage, at the time the largest ever reported, was traced to software running on a server in Englewood, Colorado. Operated by a systems provider named Intrado, the server kept a running counter of how many calls it had routed to 911 dispatchers around the country. Intrado programmers had set a threshold for how high the counter could go. They picked a number in the millions.
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.”
In the media world, as in so many other realms, there is a sharp discontinuity in the timeline: before the 2016 election, and after.
Things we thought we understood—narratives, data, software, news events—have had to be reinterpreted in light of Donald Trump’s surprising win as well as the continuing questions about the role that misinformation and disinformation played in his election.
Tech journalists covering Facebook had a duty to cover what was happening before, during, and after the election. Reporters tried to see past their often liberal political orientations and the unprecedented actions of Donald Trump to see how 2016 was playing out on the internet. Every component of the chaotic digital campaign has been reported on, here at The Atlantic, and elsewhere: Facebook’s enormous distribution power for political information, rapacious partisanship reinforced by distinct media information spheres, the increasing scourge of “viral” hoaxes and other kinds of misinformation that could propagate through those networks, and the Russian information ops agency.
Despite claiming he was better at consoling the families of slain servicemembers than his predecessors, Trump offended the family of La David Johnson and skipped calls and letters to other grieving loved ones.
Thirteen days after Sergeant La David Johnson was killed in Niger, and a day after Donald Trump boasted about his actions to console grieving families in contrast to his predecessors, the president called Johnson’s family Tuesday night.
It didn’t go well.
Representative Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat, was with widow Myeshia Johnson when Trump called. “She was crying the whole time, and when she hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’ That’s the hurting part,” Wilson told MSNBC.
“He said, ‘Well, I guess you knew’—something to the effect that ‘he knew what he was getting into when he signed up, but I guess it hurts anyway.’ You know, just matter-of-factly, that this is what happens, anyone who is signing up for military duty is signing up to die. That’s the way we interpreted it. It was horrible. It was insensitive. It was absolutely crazy, unnecessary. I was livid.”
The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history.
When did America become untethered from reality?
I first noticed our national lurch toward fantasy in 2004, after President George W. Bush’s political mastermind, Karl Rove, came up with the remarkable phrase reality-based community. People in “the reality-based community,” he told a reporter, “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality … That’s not the way the world really works anymore.” A year later, The Colbert Report went on the air. In the first few minutes of the first episode, Stephen Colbert, playing his right-wing-populist commentator character, performed a feature called “The Word.” His first selection: truthiness. “Now, I’m sure some of the ‘word police,’ the ‘wordinistas’ over at Webster’s, are gonna say, ‘Hey, that’s not a word!’ Well, anybody who knows me knows that I’m no fan of dictionaries or reference books.
By lavishing infrastructure dollars on illiberal governments, Beijing is supplanting American soft power.
Along a major tributary of the Mekong River in northeastern Cambodia sits the newly opened Lower Sesan II Dam hydropower plant. The 400-megawatt dam will produce badly needed electricity for the country, but at the cost of potential major ecological damage and the eviction of some 5,000 families from the area. Such consequences are unlikely to sink the fortunes of Hun Sen, Cambodia’s strongman leader who, for 32 years, has relied on the largesse of foreign governments to fund infrastructure projects: For this latest venture, he has China to thank for footing the more than $800-million bill.
In the past, Southeast Asian nations largely turned to the United States and its Western partners to finance such undertakings; in exchange, several of them would maintain the trappings of a democratic society. But under President Donald Trump, America’s waning regional influence is opening the door for China to expand its footprint in the region, even if that means Beijing must deal with illiberal, repressive autocrats seemingly determined to remain in power forever. “I believe I can live at least 30 more years, therefore I can continue as prime minister for 10 more years. It is not difficult for me,” the 65-year-old Hun Sen remarked at the inaugurationfor the dam last month.
High in the Russian Far East lies Wrangel Island, a harsh landscape that supports a surprisingly diverse ecosystem.
High in the Russian Far East, in the Arctic Ocean, lies Wrangel Island, a harsh landscape that supports a surprisingly diverse ecosystem. Wrangel, about the same size as Yellowstone National Park, is home to musk oxen, Arctic foxes, polar bears, and several other species of land mammals, and is visited by more than a hundred species of migratory birds. The island was one of the last refuges for woolly mammoths on Earth. Today, biologists are studying the island’s animals and plants to monitor the effects of the warming climate and the growing presence of humans in the Arctic. Photographer Sergey Gorshkov visited Wrangel and returned with these photos, recently published in the online magazine bioGraphic.
Two things have been true so far in 2017: The news cycle keeps spiraling downward, and the stock market keeps going up.
Consider a brief review of the year’s chaos. In domestic news, Washington’s legislative machine is even more broken than normal, and President Donald Trump—tweeting furiously, while under investigation for possible collusion and obstruction—has oscillated between sympathy for white nationalists and recklessness toward North Korea. A series of historic natural disasters have ravaged Houston, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and northern California. Abroad, the U.K. is sleepwalking toward divorce with Europe, a crisis with a Middle East ally is brewing, and a missile flew over Japan.