The stock market, the faltering Trump campaign’s last straw of hope for the November election, is turning out to be the Republican nominee’s short straw.
After a month of gradually falling stock prices, Wall Street on Monday was delivering a stunning repudiation of the current occupant of the White House and his radical Senate enablers for their failure to control the COVID-19 pandemic and to address the resulting collapse of the economy.
Just last week, Trump touted the stock market’s generally positive performance through the pandemic: “Look, we’re having a tremendous thing in the stock market, and that’s good for everybody, but people that aren’t rich own stock and they have 401(k)s,” he said at a town hall appearance on ABC.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the most closely watched stock market indicator, was down nearly 3% by early Monday afternoon. Every significant market gauge also flashed bold red: Gold prices fell. Oil fell. Silver collapsed. The Nasdaq composite index, where brand-name tech companies dominate, was well within what market professionals call a “correction,” a 10% or greater fall from its latest high-level mark set in early August. The S&P 500, which clocks the stock performance of the largest U.S. companies, was down 7% from its record high set Sept. 2.
The debt markets were also in disarray as yields—interest paid—on U.S. Treasury notes and bonds fell.
Investors were assessing an array of risks, reported the pro-business Wall Street Journal, including Senate delays to additional fiscal-stimulus packages, an increasingly heated U.S. election campaign season exacerbated by the death Friday of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, continuing tensions with China and the threat of renewed lockdowns in many places because of higher coronavirus infections.
“It seems like the biggest reason for the decline in most global stock markets is the concern that tighter virus restrictions in Europe will result from the new spike in COVID cases now that the colder weather is upon us,” said one market analyst quoted by CNBC. Another noted that a new stimulus bill is now “unlikely until post-Nov. 3 as the fight over Justice Ginsburg’s empty seat will consume D.C.”
Carnage in the market was widespread. At midday, tech giants Apple, Microsoft and Amazon were all off by at least 1.6%. For the month, Apple was down 18% and Microsoft has lost 12.5%. Amazon has dropped 16.3%.
Banks were also hit hard after a report found that a number of global banks moved allegedly illicit funds. Shares of Deutsche Bank dropped 8.3%, while JPMorgan Chase fell 2.8%.
Pennsylvania AG warns Trump campaign poll watchers to stop videotaping voters
On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that the attorney general of Pennsylvania is warning Trump campaign surrogates to stop videotaping voters dropping off mail-in ballots.
"In a statement, Josh Shapiro, the Democratic state attorney general, said, 'Pennsylvania law permits poll watchers to carry out very discrete and specific duties — videotaping voters at drop boxes is not one of them,'" reported Blake Montgomery.
"The campaign has filed complaints with Philadelphia officials based on the videos, alleging fraud on the part of several voters who submitted two or three ballots, according to The New York Times," continued the report. "The Trump campaign initially said the purpose of the videotaping was to catch voters who dropped off a large number of fraudulent ballots rather than one or two, according to the Times."
GOP candidate attacks opponent with racist website about his adviser working for ‘non-white males’
The 2020 campaign cycle continues to get uglier with a North Carolina Republican making explicitly racist attacks on his Democratic Party opponent.
"Anew attack website put up by the Madison Cawthorn campaign includes an explicitly racist broadside against his opponent, Moe Davis (D-NC), for associating himself with people who want to 'ruin white males.' For real," Tim Miller of The Bulwark reported Thursday.
"The website, MoeTaxes.com takes aim at Davis over one of his advisors Tom Fielder. It says that Fielder 'quit his academia job in Boston to work for non-white males, like Cory Booker who aims to ruin white males.' Putting the atrocious syntax aside… Quitting one’s job to work for someone who isn’t white is . . . a problem now? Booker’s blackness is the issue that offends you?" Miller asked. "In Donald Trump’s white grievance party, apparently so."
Trump’s Supreme Court gambit killed his last chance of defeating Joe Biden: Conservative columnist
On Thursday, writing for The Washington Post, anti-Trump conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin outlined how the president blew his final, best chance to turn around the public perception of the presidential race, and define it on his terms rather than Joe Biden's.
"With a president whose performance is as rotten as Trump’s (Gallup also shows him with a 43 percent job approval rating), his only hope was to make his opponent even more unappealing than himself," wrote Rubin. "Trump, however, never settled on an effective attack on Biden and, in any case, cannot stand ceding attention to anyone else. Trump’s performance, his lies, his antics, his insults, his crackpot conspiracy theories, his attacks on the media and his financial scandals have remained front and center. In other words, Trump’s raging narcissism has prevented him from doing what was necessary to give him a reasonable chance to win reelection."