So this happened today:
Given the volatility in the stock market of late, today’s 300-point pratfall isn’t all that noteworthy. But what’s a bit more concerning is the likely reason. While investor jitters over Donald Trump’s inane economic policies have made the market vacillate over the past year like a Home Depot paint mixer, this latest move may be more a result of a force majeure than a force moron.
Existing home sales in the United States had their worst month in more than three years. China's economy grew at its lowest pace in almost three decades. And the International Monetary Fund warned that trade spats threaten to make slowing global economic growth even slower.
Reports that the Trump administration turned down China's offer for preparatory trade talks dragged stocks even lower.
While Trump’s blooper reel of clownish own goals has no doubt dimmed the nation’s and the world’s economic prospects, the economic data themselves — not just the pr*sident’s perpetual buffoonery — seem to be top of mind for many investors:
The IMF lowered growth estimates for its 2019 World Economic Outlook by 0.2 percentage points to 3.5%, its second downward revision. It cited weakening economies in Germany and Turkey for the downgrade. The German economy had its worst year since 2013, though it may have dodged a recession.
But the report made clear that a no-deal Brexit and the unresolved trade war between the United States and China remain the biggest known risks to growth.
Also Monday, China reported that its economy grew 6.6% in 2018. That's the weakest annual performance since 1990.
So the global economy is slowing down, the housing market is slowing down, and our pr*sident is, well, slow. Throw the entirely unnecessary government shutdown into the mix and we could be in for a pretty bumpy ride.
Put your seat belts on, and pay heed to the Dumbass Crossing signs.
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