And lo, the Eye of Sauron cast its baleful gaze upon manufacturing, and manufacturing did wither.
The Dow fell nearly 350 points Monday, as stocks finished sharply lower after a key economic report showed that American factory activity fell for a second month in a row in September.
The ISM manufacturing index dropped to 47.8 in September, compared with the Refinitiv consensus forecast of 50.1. A level above 50 marks growth. That was the lowest reading since June 2009, the last month of the recession, according to the Institute of Supply Management, which puts out the report.
The manufacturing sector shrank for the first time in three years in August, according to the ISM index, which measures month-over-month activity, as the effects of the trade war and slowing global demand set in.
Manufacturers cited the US-China trade war as weighing on demand and making materials more expensive, according to the ISM.
This — to put it mildly — is not good.
And while the economy is always cyclical, you don’t usually have the president of the United States jamming broom handles in the cycle’s spokes. If a recession really is coming, it will largely be thanks to the dipshit-in-chief’s black magic.
I mean, most of us learned about the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in grade school, and we reasoned that it had provided us with a cautionary tale about the folly of trade protectionism. Trump probably learned about it, too, but he was most likely eating glue, so it didn’t stick the way it was supposed to.
And now we all get to pay.
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