White House tries again to reassure Wall Street

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The White House sought to project a message of stability on Wednesday about the US economy amid ongoing market volatility triggered in part by confusing signals sent in recent days by President Donald Trump and his top advisers.

Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of EconomiHassett instead blamed market volatility on “fundamentals,” noting, “Growth in Europe has slowed; growth in Asia has slowed.”

But he said the US economy continues to be strong.
“All the anecdotal info that we’re getting is that the fundamentals remain extremely sound,” Hassett said. “Christmas sales were through the roof.”

The attempt at reassurance from a chief economic adviser to Trump came as Wall Street sought to pick up following its worst Christmas Eve performance on record and the partial government shutdown went through its fifth day.

Markets rebounded sharply Wednesday from a disastrous Christmas Eve. The Dow was up 500 points by midday, the S&P 500 rose 2.4% and Nasdaq was up about 3%.

Throughout the holiday period, Trump has railed against the Federal Reserve, tweeting at one point that it was the “only problem our economy has.”

The President’s continued campaign against Powell, a former investment banker chosen last year by Trump to succeed Janet Yellen, breaks the decades-old precedent of shielding the world’s most powerful central bank from political meddling — but is in keeping with Trump’s habit of publicly railing about appointees and aides he believes are damaging his political standing.c Advisers, told reporters Wednesday that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s job is “100%” safe, despite Trump’s vocal complaints about the central bank’s decision to raise interest rates — including in comments to reporters on Christmas Day.

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