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.
What the happiest Springsteen album in decades can teach us about Joe Biden, the wisdom of maturity, and the meaning of life
I recently saw a photo of Lyndon B. Johnson in the first year of his presidency. He looked like a classic old guy—wrinkled, mature, in the late season of life. It was a shock to learn that he was only 55 at the time, roughly the same age as Chris Rock is now. He left the presidency, broken, and beaten, at 60, the same age as, say, Colin Firth is now.
Something has happened to aging. Whether because of better diet or health care or something else, a 73-year-old in 2020 looks like a 53-year-old in 1935. The speaker of the House is 80 and going strong. The presidential candidates are 77 and 74. Even our rock stars are getting up there. Bob Dylan produced a remarkable album this year at 79. Bruce Springsteen released an album today at 71. “Active aging” is now a decades-long phase of life. As the nation becomes a gerontocracy, it’s worth pondering: What do people gain when they age, and what do they lose? What does successful aging look like?
The president of the United States poses a threat to our collective existence. The choice voters face is spectacularly obvious.
In 1973, a United States Air Force officer, Major Harold Hering, asked a question that the Air Force did not want asked. Hering, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, was then in training to become a Minuteman-missile crewman. The question he asked one of his instructors was this: “How can I know that an order I receive to launch my missiles came from a sane president?”
The writer Ron Rosenbaum would later call this the “forbidden question.” Missile officers are allowed to ask certain sorts of questions—about the various fail-safe systems built to prevent the accidental launching of nuclear weapons, for instance. But the Air Force would not answer Hering’s question, and it moved to discharge him after determining that officers responsible for launching nuclear weapons did not “need to know” the answer. “I have to say I feel I do have a need to know because I am a human being,” Hering said in response.
To raise doubts about the Democratic nominee, right-wing-media smears don’t even need to make sense.
On Tuesday, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham broke some news: An “investigative journalist” named Matthew Tyrmand had uncovered a cache of 26,000 emails belonging to Hunter Biden’s disgraced business partner Bevan Cooney, who is now in jail. Tyrmand claimed that he had gotten hold of the emails via a person in the same facility as Cooney (a “federal work camp for white-collar infractions,” is how Tyrmand put it). Tyrmand explained that Cooney felt stiffed by Biden, the son of the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, and implied that Cooney had handed over his own Gmail password in an act of revenge.
Perhaps that’s what happened. Or perhaps not: I have good reason to doubt the reliability of the source. The last time I saw Tyrmand was in October 2017. I was speaking at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute and he was in the audience. Security guards were keeping an eye on him after I warned them that he might show up: He’d come to another public lecture of mine the previous day in New York City, then had turned up in Boston and announced on Twitter that he was following me to Cambridge. His goal, I think, was to shout at me and draw attention to himself while waving a cellphone camera in the air, which is what he’d done in the past. But the lecture went off smoothly; afterward, a very gentle and very tall Harvard professor stood firmly between us, engaging Tyrmand in vigorous conversation so that I could slip away unharassed. I didn’t hear directly from Tyrmand after that—I block the social-media accounts of tiresome trolls. But I gather that, year in and year out, he continues to post obsessively about me and my husband, a Polish politician, including photographs taken surreptitiously in public places. I have no idea why.
How anti-Trump women in America’s suburbs are ushering in a new era of political activism
To say that Susan Polakoff Shaw is a delight is to say nothing particularly controversial. The 61-year-old Ohioan’s charm is an objective fact, like snow being cold or a square having four equal sides. She laughs loudly and swears often. Her strawberry-blond curls are piled on the top of her head, like Ms. Frizzle, and she wears jean jackets, chunky jewelry, and blue plastic-framed glasses, like the kooky aunt you wish you had. She is also, importantly, a woman of action—“a mover and a shaker,” as one of her friends put it to me. Her one-woman communications firm, which she founded in 1991, has been hired by the International Olympic Committee to work press operations for 15 Olympic Games.
So naturally, when Shaw attended her first meeting of a local Democratic club in 2018, she saw it as her next big project. The gathering was fairly dull, a handful of older people seated around tables in an echoey ballroom on Cleveland’s west side. There was pizza, sure, and a lineup of local speakers. But there was no attendance-taking, no callouts for volunteers, no planning for weekend projects—even though the midterm-primary season was under way. Things have got to change if we’re going to beat Donald Trump, Shaw thought to herself as the meeting wrapped. And things did.
“Our boyfriends, our significant others, and our husbands are supposed to be No. 1. Our worlds are backward.”
Kami West had been dating her current boyfriend for a few weeks when she told him that he was outranked by her best friend. West knew her boyfriend had caught snatches of her daily calls with Kate Tillotson, which she often placed on speaker mode. But she figured that he, like the men she’d dated before, didn’t quite grasp the nature of their friendship. West explained to him, “I need you to know that she’s not going anywhere. She is my No. 1.” Tillotson was there before him, and, West told him, “she will be there after you. And if you think at any point that this isn’t going to be my No. 1, you’re wrong.”
If West’s comments sound blunt, it’s because she was determined not to repeat a distressing experience from her mid-20s. Her boyfriend at that time had sensed that he wasn’t her top priority. In what West saw as an attempt to keep her away from her friend, he disparaged Tillotson, calling her a slut and a bad influence. After the relationship ended, West, 31, vowed to never let another man strain her friendship. She decided that any future romantic partners would have to adapt to her friendship with Tillotson, rather than the other way around.
The bumbling provocateur who stormed the United States in 2006 has now become an unlikely voice of reason.
By now, you’ve probably heard about the already infamous climax of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the Amazon sequel that heralds the return of the titular Kazakh journalist and agent of chaos played by Sacha Baron Cohen. Borat’s daughter, Tutar, is interviewing Rudy Giuliani in a hotel room when the situation takes an alarming turn: The former Mayor of New York, and current lawyer to the president, is shown reclining on a bed and reaching his hand into his pants. The whole scene is so cringe-inducing that it’s a relief when Borat himself bursts into the room, interrupting the encounter and jolting the tone from creepy dread back to zany confusion.
“She’s 15. She’s too old for you,” Borat tells Giuliani, a typically tasteless rejoinder from America’s favorite faux-foreign mischief-maker. (While Tutar, the character, is 15, the actor playing her is 24.) As absurd and embarrassing as the hotel meeting is for Giuliani, who called the scene “a complete fabrication,” it underlines the accidental premise of the movie, which was shot surreptitiously over the course of this year. When Borat first rampaged through the United States for his 2006 cinematic debut, he held up a fun-house mirror to Americans’ views of outsiders, capturing real people nodding and smiling politely at this supposed journalist and his provocations. But in 2020, Borat has become the peacekeeper rather than the agitator.
As society gets richer, people chase the wrong things.
“How to Build a Life” is a biweekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness.
One of the greatest paradoxes in American life is that while, on average, existence has gotten more comfortable over time, happiness has fallen.
According to the United States Census Bureau, average household income in the U.S., adjusted for inflation, was higher in 2019 than has ever been recorded for every income quintile. And although income inequality has risen, this has not been mirrored by inequality in the consumption of goods and services. For example, from 2008 to 2019, households in the lowest income quintile increased spending on eating out by an average of about 22 percent after correcting for inflation; the top quintile increased spending on eating out by an average of just under 8 percent. Meanwhile, domestic government services have increased significantly: For example, federal spending on education, training, employment, and social services increased from 2000 to 2019 by about 30 percent in inflation-adjusted terms.
Where the desperation of late-stage meritocracy is so strong, you can smell it
Photo illustrations by Pelle Cass
Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET on October 22, 2020.
To make the images that appear in this story, the photographer Pelle Cass locked his camera onto a tripod for the duration of an event, capturing up to 1,000 photographs from one spot. The images were then layered and compiled into a single digital file to create a kind of time-lapse still photo.
Image above: Cornell versus Dartmouth, women’s lacrosse, October 2019
On paper, Sloane, a buoyant, chatty, stay-at-home mom from Fairfield County, Connecticut, seems almost unbelievably well prepared to shepherd her three daughters through the roiling world of competitive youth sports. She played tennis and ran track in high school and has an advanced degree in behavioral medicine. She wrote her master’s thesis on the connection between increased aerobic activity and attention span. She is also versed in statistics, which comes in handy when she’s analyzing her eldest daughter’s junior-squash rating—and whiteboarding the consequences if she doesn’t step up her game. “She needs at least a 5.0 rating, or she’s going to Ohio State,” Sloane told me.
Cases are rising in all but nine states. Unlike the past two waves, this one has no epicenter.
Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET on October 22, 2020
The United States is sleepwalking into what could become the largest coronavirus outbreak of the pandemic so far. In the past week alone, as voters prepare to go to the ballot box, about one in every 1,000 Americans has tested positive for the virus, and about two in every 100,000 Americans have died of it. Today, the United States reported 73,103 new cases, the third-highest single-day total since the pandemic began, according to the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic.
This third surge is far more geographically dispersed than what the country saw in the spring or summer: The virus can now be found in every kind of American community, from tiny farm towns to affluent suburbs to bustling border cities. This is the first of the American surges with no clear epicenter: From North Carolina to North Dakota, and Colorado to Connecticut, more Americans are contracting COVID-19.
It’s doubtful even Alexander Hamilton believed what he was selling in “Federalist No. 68.”
Before we get to the Electoral College, can we talk about Alexander Hamilton?
As a political figure, Hamilton was volatile, mercurial, choleric, vindictive, conniving, disloyal, and incontinent; those personal flaws eventually led to his death in a duel with Aaron Burr. We remember him because he was also smart, creative, dashing, and decisive. And if you’d had a case in front of a New York court, he’d have been the lawyer to hire. Brilliant doesn’t do justice to his advocacy skills.
But an advocate is what he was. If he were a car salesman today, he could convince you that you really don’t want the backup camera in your family minivan, because this baby here knows not to back into walls.
It’s in that context that we should read his panegyric, from “Federalist No. 68,” to the “mode of appointment of the chief magistrate of the United States” by the electors, a “small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, [who] will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.” The electors, he assured us, will be “men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.”