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Here’s What Else Isn’t Normal: The Stock Market

Courtesy of Pam Martens

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on CNBC before the Market Opened on June 27, 2018

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on CNBC before the Market Opened on June 27, 2018

There’s an old maxim on Wall Street that says “the trend is your friend.” It’s sort of like Newton’s first law of motion, frequently expressed as “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Today, there is an unusually “unbalanced” factor weighing on everything we previously took for granted about our democracy and our American values. Does it also have its fingers in the U.S. stock market?

Yesterday morning at 6:30 a.m. the Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures contract was showing a loss 107 points. That loss continued to grow gradually. By 7:15 a.m. the futures were showing a loss of 122. But that trend turned out not to be your friend. By 8:14 a.m. the futures had turned on a dime and were up 39 points.

Were there some peculiar fingers in the market? Yes. At 8:01 a.m. CNBC posted an interview with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that buoyed the market by relieving some of the fears of growing friction with China. Here’s what CNBC news host Andrew Ross Sorkin said as he greeted Mnuchin: “We now have the Treasury Secretary this morning from the White House. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, thank you for joining us – literally just minutes after this news broke. It is very good to see you. The market’s responding positively, Mr. Secretary, this morning.”

In a kind of in your face “we can move the markets” boast, CNBC posted a split screen showing Mnuchin on the left and a chart on the right showing the futures moving into positive territory as he spoke. (For our background coverage on the role Andrew Ross Sorkin, who doubles as a columnist at the New York Times, has played in providing alternative “facts” about Wall Street, see Readers Pummel New York Times Writer Over His Big Bank Stance.)

At 8:07 a.m. Reuters newswire ran more market elevating news from the White House, writing: “U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will use a strengthened national security review process to thwart Chinese acquisitions of sensitive American technologies, a softer approach than imposing China-specific investment restrictions.”

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