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

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

6 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.

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