By CCN.com: The Dow Jones Industrial Average scrambled to avoid a third consecutive loss on Wednesday as a beleaguered US stock market wrestled with more alarming news on the US-China trade front.
Meanwhile, the New York Times knocked Donald Trump back on his heels after the publication exposed the so-called business titan for what he really is: a #BillionDollarLoser.
The Dow slipped at the opening bell following a dismal pre-market session, but the index recovered in the minutes that followed. As of 12:26 pm ET, the DJIA had gained 13.2 points or 0.05% to trade at 25,978.29. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also bounced around their previous-day closes, gaining 0.03% and losing 0.01%, respectively.
On Tuesday, the Dow suffered a 473.39 point collapse, reducing the battered index 1.79% to 25,965.09. The S&P 500 fell 1.65% to 2,884.04, and the Nasdaq crashed 1.96% to 7,963.76 as panic ripped through the US stock market.
The Dow slumped during pre-market trading on Wednesday after a bombshell Reuters report provided more insight into President Trump’s shocking decision to plunge the US back into a tariff war with China.
Citing six unnamed sources, the publication reported that Beijing had sliced and diced a 150-page draft trade agreement, making “systemic edits” that “undermined core US demands” and effectively erased months of painstaking process.
“China reneged on a dozen things, if not more … The talks were so bad that the real surprise is that it took Trump until Sunday to blow up,” one source said. “After 20 years of having their way with the U.S., China still appears to be miscalculating with this administration.”
“China got greedy,” the source added.
Trump chose to play hardball with the Chinese, but it remains to be seen whether his high-stakes gamble will pay off before enhanced tariffs kick in at 12:01 am ET on Friday morning.
Writing in a Wednesday morning tweet, the president claimed that when Chinese negotiators come to the US later this week, they will be joined by Vice Premier Liu He. Moreover, he boasted, Liu intends to “make a deal” before the Friday deadline.
However, following months of the Trump administration loudly trumpeting every iota of trade deal progress – progress that was dashed by a single diplomatic cable and a pair of weekend Trump tweets – will the president’s bluster be enough to save the stock market from careening toward a third consecutive loss?
While Trump would likely prefer to focus his attention on a trade deal that could form a signature part of his political legacy, the notoriously thin-skinned president suddenly finds himself forced to scramble to salvage his carefully-crafted reputation as a ruthless and wildly-successful businessman.
On Tuesday, the New York Times published an uncensored peek into Trump’s finances between 1985 and 1994, providing a tantalizing insight into the behind-the-scenes story of a man who paraded around New York City as a self-made mogul while secretly losing more money “than nearly any other individual American taxpayer.”
According to the NYT – which obtained a decade of Trump’s tax figures – the then-real estate developer reported a staggering $1.17 billion in losses over the 10-year period. He paid virtually no income tax but maintained his glitzy lifestyle by dipping into his family’s wealth, time and time again.
Trump lashed out at the report on Twitter, slamming it as a “highly inaccurate Fake News hit job” and chalking up the losses to “massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases.”
“It was sport,” he retorted.
While it’s true that the figures are decades old, the New York Times report nevertheless debunks the image that Trump carefully crafted in the “Art of the Deal” and has maintained ever since. It’s true that his core supporters aren’t likely to give the NYT much credence, but the embarrassing exposé will provide his eventual Democratic opponent with plenty of ammunition once 2020 election season arrives.
In the meantime, Trump’s tax returns are trending on the president’s favorite social media platform under the hashtag #BillionDollarLoser . Here are a few of the highlights:
Click here for a real-time Dow Jone Industrial Average price chart.