The Dow Jones industrial average is flirting with year-to-date lows this week after the announcement that the Trump administration has put a number of steep tariffs on Chinese goods. On Thursday, the Dow had plunged 729 points, or 3 percent, by the closing bell. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index closed down 2.5 percent.
But you wouldn't know it from reading President Trump's Twitter feed.
The stock market used to be one of the president's favorite topics — he logged more than 60 tweets about the state of the markets in the first year of his administration as the Dow Jones industrial average climbed to record highs.
“Stock market hits another high with spirit and enthusiasm so positive. Jobs outlook looking very good! #MAGA,” read a characteristic missive from last July.
But since the market took a jump off its all-time peak in late January, Trump has had very little to say about it — just one tweet in early February in which he groused: “In the 'old days,' when good news was reported, the Stock Market would go up. Today, when good news is reported, the Stock Market goes down. Big mistake, and we have so much good (great) news about the economy!”
All told, the president has tweeted about the performance of the stock market at least 68 times since taking office, with a majority of those tweets occurring between October and December. Since Feb. 8, however — 43 days ago, as of this writing — he has been silent on the topic on Twitter.
On one hand, this isn't terribly surprising. Politicians like to talk about issues that paint them in a favorable light and try to avoid topics that make them look bad. But Trump has been unique in the extent to which he has taken credit for the performance of the stock market last year. Other recent presidents, perhaps aware of how much market performance is tied to economic factors well outside their control, have been more circumspect.
At a bill signing Friday, Trump said that he expected the stock market to continue to do “great” after the implementation of tariffs on Chinese goods.
“I think the stock market's gonna be great,” he said. “Look the stock market's way up — when I came into office the stock market was from a different planet. It's way up.”
On Friday, the Dow lost 426 points to close the week, down nearly 1.8 percent -- hitting its lowest level for the year.