Second Consecutive 300-Point Drop in the Dow

The Dow Jones was down 380 points today, in fact this is the second consecutive 300-point drop we’ve had in the Dow. The Dow is now down about 4% for the month of February which just ended today.  This also means the Dow’s record-breaking monthly winning streak has also come to an end.  Remember, the Dow was up every month since Donald Trump was elected President including every single month in calendar year 2017. That is something that has never happened in the history of the stock market. There has always been at least one month during any year where the market went down – except for last year, when it went up every month and it was also up in January.Not so in February.  Big decline. The Dow dropped better than 1000 points on the month. We’ll see if this is the beginning of a much bigger downturn.  In fact, it could easily be the beginning of a bear market.

Powell’s Congressional Testimony the Catalyst

The supposed catalyst for the sell-off yesterday and today was Powell’s testimony before Congress yesterday.  He goes before the Senate tomorrow – he was in front of the House yesterday to give his talk about the economy. The Congressmen’s questions are all self-serving.  They are all talking for their own constituents and nobody really cares what Jerome Powell says – except the market. The stock market is looking and caring about what he says.

Powell is Hawkish

What Powell said that spooked the markets – he was optimistic! He was hawkish – he was bullish on the economy. First of all, what do we expect?  He is on Team Trump, just as Ben Bernanke said he was a team player when he supported the economy under Bush.  So the Republican narrative is that the economy is great – everything is booming and Powell is going to toe that same line. But of course, when Powell speaks, the markets listen, and the markets didn’t like that upbeat tone. It made them think, oh, we’re going to keep getting rate hikes. Maybe we’re going to get 4 rate hikes instead of 3 – and the stock market sold off.

Will Powell Try to Fix What He Broke?

It rallied again a little this morning; we were up over 150 I think early in the day, but all of the decline happened in the last hour of trading, as is typically the case with some of these sell-offs.  So it doesn’t bode well for tomorrow. – Unless Jerome Powell tries to fix what he broke.