Worst Christmas Eve Trading Day: US Stocks Slump Ahead of Christmas

Worst Christmas Eve Trading Day: US Stocks Slump Ahead of Christmas

Worst Christmas Eve Trading Day: US Stocks Slump Ahead of Christmas

Among issues rattling investors are the ongoing USA trade dispute with China, the interest rate rise and the Friday's partial government shutdown, which followed Congress's failure to agree a budget over funding for Trump's border wall.

Wall Street stocks tumbled for a fourth straight session on Monday (Dec 24) amid rising doubts over the USA economy after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's efforts to reassure investors fell flat. The Nasdaq is in a "bear" market, down 20 percent from its August peak.

All 30 Dow blue chips were down in early morning trading, led by banker Goldman Sachs.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 65.52 points (2.71 per cent) to 2,351.10, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slid 140.08 points (2.21 per cent) to 6,192.92. All 11 sectors of the S&P were down.

Technology and health care stocks accounted for much of the selling.

Today I convened individual calls with the CEOs of the nation's six largest banks.

"He raised the specter of concern in one of the most solid areas of the USA financial system, the solvency of the banks", said Washington, D.C., investor Michael Farr. "He went to the heart of the economy's strength and created doubt".

Reuters notes that Mnuchin's scheduled Monday call with the president's Working Group on Financial Markets "includes Washington's main stewards of the usa financial system and is sometimes referred to as the 'Plunge Protection Team'".

Investors' worries were exacerbated last week when the Federal Reserve signaled no slowdown in its plans to continue raising interest rates next year.

Overall, for the month, the stock market has lost about 7.8% of its value during the month of December, meaning that this month could be the worst December for the stock market since the Great Depression.

"There's a difference between now and then because we didn't have stress testing like we do now", he added. But the president has obsessively monitored recent gyrations and aides say he has grown furious about the declines of the past week and fearful of a recession.

Additionally, Wall Street is on edge over reports that U.S. President Donald Trump has privately discussed firing Powell, who was nominated by Trump to be Fed chairman and took the helm at the U.S. central bank in February.

In a November 27 interview with The Washington Post, Trump said: "I'm not happy with the Fed".

Trump also lashed out at the Federal Reserve on Monday after administration officials spent the weekend trying to assure the public and financial markets that Powell's job as Fed chairman was safe.

"I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me", Trump said in the interview. The U.S. economy's fundamentals are sound, even though the stock market is verging on bearish territory.

With the equity markets in free fall, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with the chief executive officers of the six largest U.S. banks, who confirmed they have enough liquidity to continue lending and that "the markets continue to function properly".

Mnuchin "confirmed that they have not experienced any clearance or margin issues and that the markets continue to function properly", the Treasury Department said in a statement.

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