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Top Institutional and Mutual Fund holders provided by Vickers-stock. Trump claimed that the economy is surging and, as a result, the dollar will keep getting stronger and stronger. The problem with these assertions is that neither is true. The news is also surprisingly weak on the trade and employment fronts, another two areas for which Trump has shown particular enthusiasm.
In fact, job growth in was its slowest pace since But according to the U. But since when have facts ever mattered in Washington or on Wall Street? While the financial media has been focused on the stock market, most have dismissed the significance of the declining dollar. In fact, against the Chinese yuan, January was the weakest month for the dollar since The current decline in the dollar index that began in December is now the longest continuous decline in the last 12 years.
And while other recent declines have been steeper see chart below , this one is distinct because it is occurring against a set of economic conditions that should be bullish for the dollar. Economic growth is assumed to be strong, consumer confidence is high, and the Fed is expected to keep raising interest rates and actually shrink its balance sheet which would diminish the supply of dollars. A recession, which typically brings with it a decline in GDP and consumer confidence, and which may cause the Fed to reverse policy, may likely knock out the remaining supports for the dollar and result in deep declines.
Over the past century, the U. Despite the fact that more than a decade has passed since our last recession began, few forecasters see another one looming. But interest rates are currently creeping up further and faster than nearly anyone had predicted. So the issuance of Treasuries may spike just as demand for them may wane due to a possible slowing economy and a falling dollar.
Perhaps they are just too numbed by success to care at this point. Yet the markets seem unconcerned. Since the Federal Reserve and the U. Government began intervening in the markets in the wake of the financial crisis, there has been almost no downside volatility in stocks. It does seem that fear and worry have been thoroughly banished from Wall Street. But the dollar itself may be a window into the troubled souls of otherwise carefree investors. Even in the market surge of the past decade, there have been some isolated moments when daily declines are significant.
If we look at the average of 10 worst market days each year during the five years from to , 50 days when the Dow dropped by at least points, we can see that the dollar tended to rally in the panic.