Two years ago, we were promised that the election of an unhinged narcissist to the most powerful office in the land would naturally bring about the sort of motion-sickness-inducing economic collapse that such an action quite frankly really ought to bring. While this was bad news for most people and for the world in general, it had you people salivating: After eight boring years of stability, volatility was coming back and in a big way, baby!
Unfortunately, for all his many accomplishments, President Orange Garbage Bag Filled With Spoiled Rice Pudding has utterly failed to inject much excitement into the markets. Sure, there have been moments—lots of them if you’re a crypto trader, and one particularly painful one if you were betting on low-vol with one particular ETF—but mostly it’s been more boring market records, and consequently more boring sub-par returns.
All of a sudden, though, we’ve got ourselves a little volatility party: The president keeps bullying the Fed while his sycophants insist he’s not bullying the Fed. He upped the ante in his trade war with China, then sent he-who-hears-no-bullying Larry Kudlow out to assure that Trump and Xi Jinping will possibly maybe be getting together to hash everything out next month. After suffering its third-worst plunge in history by points and opening 100 points lower still today, people breathed a little easier and actually had the Dow above par for a few minutes this morning. But then everyone remembered that the IMF says we’re fucked, especially in emerging markets, and that people don’t seem to think Italy will be able to pay its bills, and that Goldman says oil is gonna be fucked eventually, and stocks slid another 300 points. But then Mo El-Erian and some other guy said don’t worry about it and just enjoy the ride, and now we’re pretty much back at even.
So what happens next? Does Trump shoot Jay Powell in the middle of Fifth Avenue and be immediately acclaimed president for life by the Senate, with Susan Collins casting the deciding vote? What would stocks do in that event anyway? Or is this just another vol-tease, and we’re back to running in place? Will stocks finish marginally up or marginally down? Will the Dow be the Khris Davis of indices and close right where it started this morning? Care to place a little wager among friends?
You know the drill: Get your guesses on the Dow close in by 3:45 p.m. EST. Standard Price is Right rules: Closest without going over wins. You have nothing to lose by pride, and our spiffy new Dealbreaker t-shirt to gain if you’re today’s clairvoyant. That’s right: We’ve got t-shirts coming out and you’re all gonna want one. But while the rest of you will have to wait, one lucky person gets one (well, the promise of one) today.