As Americans keep their heads on a political swivel this week, the stock market is also reacting to the whirlwind news coming out of Washington DC.
President Trump has been a bit of a bull in a China shop as of late, attempting to make as much progress on his agenda as possible before the “resistance”-minded democrats take control of the House of Representatives in January…of course, pending the outcome of this latest government shutdown. The belief is that the incoming class will move immediately to create more stagnation in the Trump administration, bringing the government to a grinding halt while still getting paid.
President Trump may or may not have seen this coming, hence the shutdown. At least now these public servants aren’t cashing their exorbitant paychecks while also not getting anything done.
And so, amidst this chaos the stock market is doing its thing…whatever that may be. At this point, and thanks to the work of the Fed, we’re not entirely sure if the market is being reactionary, or if outside forces are using their influence to detract from the economic work of the current President.
In either case, American consumers weren’t shaken this holiday season.
The stock market may be working through one of its most volatile periods in recent history, but Americans are confident in their financial situations, The Wall Street Journal reports. The 2018 holiday season was one of the most profitable for retailers in nearly a decade.
“Total U.S. retail sales, excluding automobiles, rose 5.1% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 from a year earlier, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending with all forms of payment,” WSJ says. “Overall, U.S. consumers spent over $850 billion this holiday season, according to Mastercard.”Advertisement - story continues below
More consumers shopped online than ever before — and that’s part of the reason stores did so well. Online spending jumped more than 25%, spurred on by new offers from retailers that allowed customers to skip crowds at the mall by buying their presents online and picking them up at designated kiosks inside stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Macy’s.
The Trump Effect is real, and perhaps cutting down on government spending will bring yet another boost to the real economy….the one not dictated by the whimsical nature of the stock market.