Stocks aren’t ignoring Trump’s Fed, EU, and China comments. Wall Street’s just watching the dollar get crushed
U.S. stocks were edging higher late-morning Friday, seemingly ignoring recent comments from President Donald Trump, who questioned the strategy of the the Federal Reserve and monetary policies of the European Union and China. But if the stocks appear to be more buoyant against that backdrop, look no further than the intraday weakening of the U.S. dollar which is being pummeled in early Friday action, following a morning tweet from Trump that accused China and the EU of manipulating rates and currencies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1% at 25,094, the S&P 500 index also was trading in the green, gaining less than 0.1% at 2,806, while the Nasdaq Composite Index , which had already been edging up, gained 0.3% at 7,849. Futures for all three benchmarks indicated that stocks would face stiffer headwinds at the open of regular trade. However, a weaker dollar, which can benefit large, multinational companies doing business abroad, provided a major tailwind. As measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index , the dollar is down 0.6% at 94.620, on track for its worst one-day decline this month. In Friday’s tweet, Trump said: “China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower, while the U.S. is raising rates while the dollars gets stronger and stronger with each passing day- taking away our big competitive edge. As usual, not a level playing field.” The social-media blast comes a day after a Thursday interview with CNBC indicated that the president wasn’t ‘”thrilled” with the Fed’s strategy of increasing interest rates, which Trump characterized as undercutting his fiscal stimulus measures, designed to boost business and the market.
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