Dow Winces as Congress Rips Into Trump Intel Chief Maguire

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September 26, 2019

The Dow Jones’ resilience to the ongoing impeachment drama in Washington faded on Thursday, as acting DNI Chief Joseph Maguire testified before Congress on the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower scandal.

Dow Jones Dives as Congress Grills Maguire on Trump-Ukraine Call

Dropping more than 100 points at its lows, the Dow Jones Industrial Average struggled as political chaos dented optimism for the US stock market. At last check, the Dow had lost 81.42 points or 0.30% to slide to 26,889.29.

The Dow Jones dropped as Joseph Maguire faced severe scrutiny in Congress over his handling of the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint. | Source: Yahoo Finance

While European stocks enjoyed a healthy day, the US market suffered through a rare day of independent risk-off. The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 all declined, while energy prices slumped, sending crude oil and natural gas lower on the day. Gold rose slightly amid the weakness in the stock market.

An adverse reaction in the Dow was not particularly surprising as Maguire’s interrogation by the House Intelligence Committee dominated newswires and Google searches.

Such saturation of negative press for Donald Trump is not a positive development for a stock market that is still convinced the president will be re-elected. Trump continues to remind investors of his belief that stocks will collapse if he is removed from office.

CNBC’s Josh Brown Rebuts Trump on Stock Market

However, many traders remain skeptical. CNBC pundit and Chief Executive of Ritholtz Wealth Management Josh Brown had the following to say on Twitter about the current administration’s effect on the stock market:

“The best stock market and economy in our history was a toss up between the 1950’s-1960’s and the 1990’s. Trump’s stock market has been flat for 20 months, since he began the trade war. GDP growth last year was sub-3%. Clinton had 4%, so did Eisenhower, in the 60’s it was 5%. Now, the uninformed will scream that the Fed is holding back Trumponomics, but interest rates rose throughout the ’50s and the ’90s, so you can throw that argument out to. Let’s just say Presidents don’t deserve all the blame / credit they get for the economy / stock prices.”

The probability of a Trump impeachment has more than doubled over the last week. All signs from the market point to further escalating odds, suggesting a rocky road for the Dow moving forward.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s shift to being in favor of an impeachment inquiry was the catalyst for this move, as the congresswoman was extremely reluctant to pursue this tactic before the Ukraine-Biden scandal blew up.

Avoiding the political noise for the Dow Jones, there were actually some good signs in the US, after another piece of robust housing data. GDP was on target, and the goods-trade balance was better than expected. Even the Eurozone economy is showing some signs of life, with private sector borrowing gradually beginning to pick up.

Dow Stocks: Heavyweights Disney & Apple Drag Index Lower

A few significant losses among the Dow 30‘s prominent players tripped up the index’s slight pre-market rally. Disney stock shed 2.1% amidst a leadership reshuffle, while Apple was 0.45% lower.

Things are getting alarming for UnitedHealth, as the stock is now down more than 12% over the last month. Another 2.3% loss on Thursday is likely linked to problems for Trump’s reelection bid, as the company would probably not enjoy substantial healthcare reform under a Democratic presidential administration.

Oil companies slid following another day of weakness, with both Chevron (-2.3%) and Exxon Mobil (-0.55%) trading under pressure.

McDonald’s was unable to match Beyond Meat’s huge gains after announcing its testing of their non-meat burger patties in Canada, but it was still 0.32% higher on the day.

Click here for a live Dow Jones Industrial Average chart.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.