The president repeated a familiar complaint on Thursday night and Friday morning: The media had once again neglected to credit him for the stock market’s record performance.
Trump’s tweets came as the Labor Department reported the U.S. added 148,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent. This seems like good news for the president, but as MSNBC’s Steve Benen pointed out, job growth is “down a fair amount from the previous two months, and falls short of expectations.... [W]hile Donald Trump’s first year as president has been pretty good overall for job creation, Americans nevertheless saw the slowest job growth in six years.”
As for the stock market, CNBC finance editor Jeff Cox wrote on Thursday that Trump “may end up regretting his decision to latch onto such a fickle indicator.”
Markets go up and markets go down, and using stocks as a barometer for broader economic performance has proven through history to be a dicey endeavor. One person’s bull market is another’s bust just waiting to happen, and it was, after all, less than a year and a half ago that Trump was dismissing the rise in equity values as “all a big bubble.”
Some analysts believe the market is due for a correction in 2018, if not worse. CNBC reports that Patrick Schaffer, a “generally bullish global investment specialist” at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, “is telling clients to buy the next sell-off, and the odds are high it’ll happen this year.” Schaffer believes the market could drop as much as 14 percent.
Meanwhile, many of Trump’s diehard supporters aren’t even benefitting from the market’s record gains. As The Washington Post reported last year, the Americans most likely to own stock over the past eight years were wealthy, older, and white. Many of these Americans undoubtedly voted for Trump, but they’re hardly the “forgotten men and women” the president claims to champion.