The Trump stock market has stagnated. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 are revisiting levels from before the president’s first tariffs in 2018. | Source: Shutterstock
With both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 hitting record highs recently, you would be forgiven for thinking that Donald Trump’s stock market has been a runaway success. However, the recent trade war turmoil has shed light on an extraordinary fact: the Dow and S&P have gone nowhere since the tariffs began in 2018.
The stock market is now back at the same level it was in January 2018 — when Trump put his 1st tariffs on washing machines + solar panels. https://t.co/N5xzIE8oXK #stocks #trade #realitycheck pic.twitter.com/DJMVr9QPzD
— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) August 5, 2019
Trump Tariffs Handcuffed the Stock Market
There is no doubting that the Trump administration’s tax plan was a positive for the stock market. By essentially donating money to corporations, balance sheets inflated and bullish traders pumped stocks as the dream of a uber-business friendly leader had become a reality.
However, in January 2018, Trump began a protectionist tariff policy to address the balance of trade with China. This sparked a market sell-off that created a jagged sideways range. Over the last year, as traders have dealt with the contrasting fundamentals of a vibrant economy and the mutually assured destruction of taking on Beijing, volatility has increased. The Dow and S&P 500 are therefore fluctuating wildly as concerns over the trade war have oscillated.
The S&P 500 closed at 2850 a year ago, on the first Monday of August. Right now it’s at 2847.