Dec 24, 2018

Wall Street's not so Merry Christmas

New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Dow had its worst Christmas Eve ever, dropping 653 points to close at 21,792 — and all 11 of the S&P 500 sectors are now in negative territory in 2018, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's unsettling weekend statement that the big banks have enough liquidity clearly didn't calm anyone down.

Flashback: 82 days ago, the Dow closed at a record high — 26,828 — on a day where this newsletter focused on the Khashoggi coverup and the power shift driven by #MeToo.

Driving the news: "Mnuchin convened a call [today] with top regulatory officials ... to discuss coordination efforts to assure normal market operations. Regulators on the call said that markets were functioning normally..." [WSJ]

  • Prudential Financial strategist Quincy Krosby: “We’ve gone through situations before where it’s absolutely normal for the secretary of Treasury to reach out to the private sector... But what’s bad is this made the papers, and says the government is very worried." [WSJ]

What they're saying:

  • Trump: "The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch - he can’t putt!"
  • Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi: '"It's Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos. The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve..."

Be smart: We’ve transitioned from a glass half-full bull market to a glass half-empty environment. This is much different than earlier this year when no amount of bad news could shake the market. Now it’s the opposite: good news isn’t as powerful as it used to be.

The bottom line: “The markets going down will eventually create an economic problem... People who spend money as consumers, if they have stock exposure, they’re reconsidering if they’re going to buy a $1,000 present — they’ll buy a $200 one.” [Bloomberg]

Go deeper

George Floyd updates

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,852,810 — Total deaths: 398,211 — Total recoveries — 3,071,142Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,917,080 — Total deaths: 109,702 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.