Happy New Year's 🎉 and I hope you're enjoying the rest and football.
🚨 Situational awareness: Protestors began withdrawing from the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad.
- What's next: The militia leaders behind the yesterday's storming will now try to remove U.S. troops from Iraq by taking action in the country’s parliament.
- Go deeper.
1 big thing: Trump's stock market
Why it matters: Trump uses the stock market's surge as a barometer of his presidency's success, but the percentage gains lag former Presidents Barack Obama, when stocks rebounded from the lows of the financial crisis, and George H.W. Bush.
Between the lines: Even if you count the 2016 post-election day market rally, the S&P's performance is still behind H.W. Bush (measuring from election day through the end of the third year in office).
The bottom line: Only about half of Americans own stocks, "largely through retirement accounts," as the Washington Post notes, citing Federal Reserve data.
- Meanwhile, Trump's trade war, which added to stock market volatility, has cut into the financial well-being of America's farmers.
Go deeper: Trump's economic shield against impeachment
Bonus: Chart du jour
2. What you missed
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will ask Israel's parliament for immunity from his pending corruption charges. Go deeper.
- Pope Francis apologized for slapping a woman's hand away after she unexpectedly grabbed him during a New Year's Eve event in Vatican City's St. Peter's Square. Go deeper.
- Pete Buttigieg raised $24.7 million during 2019's fourth quarter, up from $19.2 million in the previous quarter. Go deeper.
- Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts warned that Americans may "take democracy for granted" in his annual year-end message. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing
A powerful Argentine big-game hunter and a sociable French water dog have made the American Kennel Club’s list of recognized breeds, the AP reports.
- Why it matters: The barbet and the dogo Argentino will be eligible to view for best in show at the famous Westminster Kennel Club show in 2021.
The big picture: Dog breeding is the subject of considerable debate, the AP notes.
- Critics say it leads to puppy mills and short-circuits pet adoptions.
- Defenders argue there’s a place in dogdom for conscientious breeders and for canines bred for certain traits or purposes.