NEW YORK: US stocks ticked down last week, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped an eight-week winning streak amid fears that the Republican tax cut plan could founder on the rocks of political discord. The bull market is likely to get back on track this week, as long as the tax plan and retail earnings do so, too.
The hammering that President Donald Trump’s Republican party took in state elections in Virginia and elsewhere was interpreted by some political analysts as weakening Mr Trump’s hand on taxes and other policy. Another unwelcome distraction: the sexual-abuse scandal that has engulfed Hollywood spread to Washington DC as Republican Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore was accused of sexual impropriety with a minor. Mr Trump’s profile on the global stage was also diminished after his “America First” address to the Apec conference was followed by Chinese President Xi Jinping taking up the mantle of international trade.
Still, sex scandals, statesmanship and state elections, of course, have little direct bearing on the stock market. The “Trump bump” that began in the immediate wake of his election has largely stuck, so far.