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%.