President Trump on Wednesday said the U.S. stock market’s poor performance in December was a “glitch” that would correct itself once his administration completes key trade deals with China and other nations.
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“We had a little glitch in the stock market last month,” Trump told reporters at a Cabinet meeting in the White House, adding that markets were still up significantly since his election in 2016.
U.S. equities markets plunged in December amid concerns about global trade conflicts and a partial government shutdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 2018 down 5.6 percent, while the S&P 500 fell 6.2 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 4 percent. Overall stock market performance was at its worst level since the 2008 financial crisis.
Trump said markets need “a little help from the Fed” in order to return to positive results. The president has clashed with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in recent weeks, arguing that the central bank’s decision to stick to a plan to gradually raise interest rates has spooked investors.
An ongoing trade conflict between the U.S. and China also weighed on U.S. markets in 2018. The U.S. slapped tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese goods, prompting retaliatory measures from Beijing.
U.S. markets were trading in a tight range Wednesday afternoon.