Connect with us

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

By Lucy Bayly

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the stock market’s worst month since 1931 was due to a “glitch.”

Trump told reporters on the first trading day of 2019 that after December’s near-historic sell-off, stocks would rise once his trade deals have been resolved.

Following a turbulent month that capped a roller-coaster year on the stock market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 350 points on Wednesday, before leveling out by mid-afternoon.

“Everybody is terrified that this is a sign of a global slowdown,” Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS, told CNBC, responding to economic data that indicated China’s manufacturing activity is showing signs of decline. “It was only eight months ago we were talking about synchronized growth and all of that is falling apart.”

Trump has expressed repeated ire over the stock market swings, laying the blame for a down market with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Trump said last month the Fed head needed to “feel the market” instead of raising the central bank’s benchmark borrowing rate four times last year.

Although December is usually a quiet month for markets, 2018 marked the worst December for stocks since 1931, and all major indexes saw their worst yearly performances since the financial crisis. The S&P 500 was down 6.2 percent for 2018, the Dow declined by 5.6 percent, and the Nasdaq fell by 3.9 percent, its worst annual performance since 2008.

Market volatility was fueled last year by months of tit-for-tat billion-dollar trade skirmishes between the U.S. and its major trading partners, with China finally agreeing to a 90-day cease-fire while negotiations continue.

“Unless you expect a recession [or] total financial crisis, the level of volatility will probably drop down in the next few months,” Ian Harnett, chief investment strategist at Absolute Strategy in London, told NBC News, although he added the caveat that volatility in 2019 will likely be greater than it was in 2018.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Politics

Trump abruptly reverses Treasury’s North Korea-related sanctions on Chinese shippers

Published

on

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

 / Updated 

By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump suggested Friday that he would lift sanctions his Treasury Department had just announced it would impose on two Chinese shipping companies for allegedly violating existing prohibitions on providing goods and transportation services to North Korea.

“It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”

The sanctions — which the White House did not immediately confirm that the president’s tweet was in reference to — were actually announced Thursday by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is an agency under the Treasury Department.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders explained the president’s decision as a courtesy to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with whom Trump broke off denuclearization talks in Hanoi last month.

“President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” Sanders said.

Victor Cha, a former National Security Council official and an MSNBC contributor, said that Trump’s decision had undercut law enforcement and sent a message to Kim that he won’t ramp up sanctions. While it’s good that Trump wants to continue diplomatic discussions with Kim, Cha said, the tweet had also sent the wrong signal to other countries about U.S. policy.

For years, the U.S. has used the threat and imposition of sanctions to deter individuals, companies and foreign governments from doing business with the North Korean regime to squeeze that nation’s economy and pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program.

At a time when Trump is eager to strike a trade deal with China, the relief from sanctions that Treasury officials imposed may also go over well in Beijing.

In announcing the sanctions Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. government wanted to make clear to shipping companies that they could not do business with North Korea.

“The United States and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related UN Security Council resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome,” Mnuchin said. “Treasury will continue to enforce our sanctions, and we are making it explicitly clear that shipping companies employing deceptive tactics to mask illicit trade with North Korea expose themselves to great risk.”

However, senior Trump administration officials also said Thursday that “the door is wide open” to more talks with North Korea, telling reporters that President Trump remains “personally engaged” and also wants contacts to occur on the working level, although they wouldn’t disclose whether any such contacts have occurred since the summit between the president and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Josh Lederman contributed.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Gun rights groups try last-ditch move to stop Trump ban on rapid-fire bump stocks

Published

on

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

By Pete Williams

WASHINGTON — Owners of bump stocks — attachments that allow rifles to be fired rapidly — are hoping a federal appeals court will relieve them of the legal duty to destroy the devices by Monday.

The Trump administration ordered a ban on bump stocks after they figured prominently in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting that killed 58 people and wounded 500 others. A police investigation revealed that Stephen Paddock, who carried out the massacre, had 22 semi-automatic rifles with him in his hotel room overlooking an outdoor concert that he attacked, and 14 of the weapons were equipped with bump stocks.

Under a federal rule that took effect in December, owners must destroy their bump stocks, which are usually made of plastic, by Monday or risk prosecution for a felony. The rule suggests smashing them with a hammer, cutting them apart with a saw, or turning them over to a local ATF office. It applies to individual owners, dealers, wholesalers and manufacturers.

Federal authorities estimate that half a million of them have been sold in the U.S.

The devices are attached to a rifle in place of the normal stock, the end piece that sit next to a user’s shoulder. Once in place, the bump stock absorbs the weapon’s recoil and alters the relationship between the trigger finger and the weapon.

Without a bump stock, the rifle remains stationary, and the trigger finger must be moved to fire each round. With a bump stock, after the trigger is pulled once, the recoil begins moving the trigger against the finger, which remains stationary, resulting in rapid firing like a fully automatic rifle.

For that reason, the Trump administration concluded that bump stocks violate a federal law that bans machineguns, defined as weapons that automatically fire more than one shot “with a single function of the trigger.”

Gun rights groups sued, arguing that bump stocks are intended to be used with AR-15 style rifles which are mechanically incapable of firing more than once with a single function of the trigger, because it must be released and moved again to allow the weapon to fire. They say the words of the statute — single function of the trigger — refer to the movement of the trigger itself, not whether the trigger is pulled by a finger or actuated by a bump stock.

“The government is just wrong to focus to focus on the behavior of the person rather than the function of the trigger,” said Erik Jaffee, representing the gun owners. “Function of the trigger means the trigger, not the shooter.”

The Justice Department told the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., on Friday that the courts have interpreted the phrase “single function of the trigger” to mean “single pull of the trigger.” A bump stock, government lawyers argued, allows a rifle to fire automatically once the trigger is pulled once, and that qualifies it as a machinegun.

An ATF spokeswoman said some owners have already turned in their bump stocks. But gun owner groups said others were waiting to see whether the appeals court agrees to put the rule on hold.

The court did not indicate when it might rule.



Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

‘I will TELEPATHICALLY stop you!’ Uri Geller sends Theresa May BIZARRE Brexit warning

Published

on

PARANORMAL spoon bender Uri Geller has written a bizarre open letter to Theresa May, telling the Prime Minister he “loves” her but “will stop you telepathically” from carrying out Brexit.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending