White House: Markets fluctuate, fundamentals of economy strong

The White House kept calm as officials tracked the steep selloff on Monday, which clipped 1,176 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the worst one-day drop on record, continuing the 666-point drop investors experienced on Friday.

“Look, markets do fluctuate in the short term. We all know that.  And they do that for number of reasons.  But the fundamentals of this economy are very strong and they're headed in the right direction -- for the middle class, in particular,” said White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah when asked about the financial markets around 1 p.m. ET on Monday, before the selling accelerated into the closing bell.

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Even with the steep two-day point drop, the gains in the financial markets since President Trump took office remain intact. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 22%, the S&P 500 16% and the Nasdaq Composite 25% as of Monday.

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Shah also pointed out the benefits of tax reform are already in motion. Nearly 300 companies have doled out one-time bonus payments or have raised wages, while also offering some additional financial perks to employees.

“As we're already seeing, [tax reform] is leading to hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in the United States. Hundreds of companies giving additional raises, bonuses, benefits, and everything else to employees” he said.

Additionally, the U.S. economy continues to show signs of improvement. On Friday, U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs in last January as the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%. Wage growth jumped over 2.9%, the best showing since 2009.

Economists are predicting a significant upswing in the U.S. economy. Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, via its GDP Now Fed Tracker, upped its outlook for first-quarter GDP to 5.4%. That would be the best showing since the third quarter of 2014.

Late Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also commented on the stock market drop in a statement to reporters.

“The President’s focus is on our long-term economic fundamentals, which remain exceptionally strong, with strengthening U.S. economic growth, historically low unemployment, and increasing wages for American workers.  The President’s tax cuts and regulatory reforms will further enhance the U.S. economy and continue to increase prosperity for the American people."