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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.

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The REAL Earl of 'Downton Abbey' LOSES election to House of Lords

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THE real-life owner of Downton Abbey has failed in his bid to secure a place in the House of Lords.

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Top House Dem says new offer will focus on funding ‘smart wall’

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Breaking News Emails

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

By Leigh Ann Caldwell, Kasie Hunt and Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — House Democrats are readying a funding counter-offer to President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans that would “meet or exceed” $5.7 billion for border security, but no money for a physical wall, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters Wednesday.

Thompson told reporters that the Democrats’ proposal will offer “no new structures. The only thing we’re talking about is existing structures. Some of them need repairing.”

The money could be used for “technology, manpower, fortifying ports of entry along with the judges and other things,” he added.

An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., confirmed that the proposal is in the works.

The offer may represent an attempt to compromise by offering the president the same amount he has requested for border security, but Democrats are still unwilling to compromise on the wall itself. House Democrats are planning to vote on their funding bills to reopen the government this week that would provide $1.5 billion in border security.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said Wednesday the $5.7 billion in border security technology funding in the offer would be a superior option to the physical wall the president has demanded.

“Walls are primitive — what we need to do is have border security,” Clyburn told reporters. “Use technology, use scanners, use x-ray equipment,”

Clyburn said that the U.S. government can now x-ray automobiles to determine whether they’re a threat to national security, it should use drones to help secure the border and should make coming through legal ports of entry an attractive option for asylum seekers.

“If you look at all the things that we are proposing, more judges, more border patrol, additional technology, these are the kinds of things that we are going to be putting forth,” Clyburn said. “And I think that they can be done using the figure that the president has put on the table, if his $5.7 billion is about border security, then we see ourselves fulfilling that request only doing it with what I like to call using a ‘smart wall.'”

Democrats still hold the position that the government should first be reopened immediately before negotiations take place over border security. At the same time, the counter-offer signals some movement on Capitol Hill on the 33rd day of the government shutdown.

Meanwhile, the Senate is planning to hold votes Thursday on two competing measures: the chamber will vote on Trump’s plan to reopen the government while providing $5.7 billion in border wall funding and temporary protections for people who were brought to the U.S illegally as children. And it will vote on a Democratic proposal to reopen the government that excludes funding for the wall altogether.



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Gibraltar Brexit row: EU will ‘ALWAYS side with Spain’ leaked document reveals

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SPAIN is attempting to leverage the threat of no-deal Brexit to force the European Union into supporting its claims to sovereignty over Gibraltar according to a leaked EU document.

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