By CCN.com: The Dow’s weeklong catastrophe shows no signs of letting up, as the US stock market endured another shellacking at the hands of Donald Trump and his tariff regime on Friday. Meanwhile, former FBI Director James Comey revealed that he believes federal prosecutors will indict Trump following his presidency.
Dow Extends Vicious Weeklong Decline
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by triple digits following the opening bell, and by 11:53 am ET the Dow had plunged 309.84 points or 1.2% to 25,518.52. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fared even worse, sliding 1.35% to 2,831.99 and 1.73% to 7,773.68 amid a dismal day for US stocks.
Apple stock headlined the Dow’s decline, dropping a crippling 3.1%. Intel, Caterpillar, United Technologies, and Home Depot weighed heavy on the index as well, with each dropping at least 2.2%.
Trump’s ‘No Rush’ Tweet Batters Stock Market
The immediate trigger for Friday’s sell-off was the never-ending trade war teeter-totter, which continues to viciously seesaw between dizzying optimism and utter despair.
Less than a day after hinting that Thursday would be a “very strong day” for US-China trade negotiations, President Trump unleashed a ballistic Twitter rant in which he downplayed the need to “rush” into a trade deal.
“Talks with China continue in a very congenial manner – there is absolutely no need to rush – as Tariffs are NOW being paid to the United States by China of 25% on 250 Billion Dollars worth of goods & products.”
The tweetstorm came just hours after the administration hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25%, an action for which Beijing has vowed to retaliate. Trump defended those tariffs, alleging that they would make the US “MUCH STRONGER, not weaker” and would “bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind.”
“Tariffs will make our Country MUCH STRONGER, not weaker. Just sit back and watch! In the meantime, China should not renegotiate deals with the U.S. at the last minute. This is not the Obama Administration, or the Administration of Sleepy Joe, who let China get away with “murder!”
“We have lost 500 Billion Dollars a year, for many years, on Crazy Trade with China. NO MORE!,” he concluded. “Build your products in the United States and there are NO TARIFFS!”
That, judging by today’s ongoing DJI plunge, is not what the stock market wanted to hear.
Ex-FBI Director Warns of Explosive Trump Indictment
Meanwhile, Wall Street must also digest a headline that went a bit under-the-radar amid all of the tariff war hand-wringing:
“’Not above the law’: Trump indictment in play after presidency, James Comey says”
According to the Washington Times, former FBI Director James Comey revealed in a CNN town hall that he believes President Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice and would already have been indicted if Justice Department policy did not stipulate that sitting presidents cannot be indicted.
“It sure looks that way,” Comey chirped when CNN host Anderson Cooper asked if the shady activities outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report rose to the level of obstruction of justice.
Cooper then asked if the Justice Department would already have indicted Trump if he was just an ordinary citizen.
“Yes. agree. No doubt,” Comey replied, adding later that “The Justice Department will have to take a serious look at” indicting him once he leaves office.
Trump, for his part, lashed out at Comey on Twitter, savaging him as a “disgrace to the FBI” and the “worst Director in its long and once proud history.”
Click here for a real-time Dow Jones Industrial Average price chart.