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Dow Futures Sink and Furious Donald Trump Rages at ‘Gutless’ Fed

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:03 PM
Ben Brown
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:03 PM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures plunged lower in early trading Thursday. It comes after the Federal Reserve cut the target base rate by 25 points, as expected. But the stock market, not to mention Donald Trump, didn’t get what they wanted: a commitment to deeper, long-term cuts.

As usual, Trump didn’t hide his disgust at the Federal Reserve and chairman Jerome Powell, lashing out on Twitter minutes after the decision.

“Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again. No “guts,” no sense, no vision!  A terrible communicator!”

Trump tweet Federal Reserve

Dow futures slump 40 points on Thursday

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures  slumped 40 points on Thursday after the Fed disappointed traders and ruled out a series of long-term rate cuts.

Dow (DJIA) futures chart Thursday - stock market Trump, Fed
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures slumped on Thursday after Fed rate cut. Source: Yahoo Finance

S&P 500 futures  followed 0.15% lower while Nasdaq Composite futures  slid 0.24%.

Donald Trump desperate for deeper cuts

Trump hasn’t been shy about lobbying the Federal Reserve for looser monetary policy. In the last few months, the president has ramped up his aggression towards the central bank, blurring the lines of independence .

Trump has blasted Powell’s “horrendous lack of vision” and called for the Fed to explore zero or even negative interest rates, which he believes would support the stock market. When the European Central Bank carved deeper into negative territory this month, Trump called the Fed “boneheads”:

“The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we should then start to refinance our debt.”

Stock market tweet 

He has repeatedly called for the central bank to keep pace with Europe, Japan, and China which are pursuing aggressive easing policies.

“As usual, Powell let us down… What the Market wanted to hear from Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve was that this was the beginning of a lengthy and aggressive rate-cutting cycle which would keep pace with China, The European Union and other countries around the world.”

Trump tweet DJIA 

Dow analysis: the market wanted more

The slump in the Dow Jones futures market reveals that traders wanted a deeper commitment to long-term easing. But Powell poured cold water on those hopes, saying that a “moderate” policy should be enough to maintain the US economy going forward.

While Powell said “a more extensive sequence of cuts” isn’t off the table, the Federal Reserve doesn’t currently expect this course of action.

The summary is likely to anger Trump who has previously called for a 100 basis point cut.

“The Fed Rate, over a fairly short period of time, should be reduced by at least 100 basis points, with perhaps some quantitative easing as well.”

Trump tweet 4 

For now, it seems, Trump isn’t getting what he wants.