How Trump’s presser threatened to wreck his own stock-market rally

MarketWatch | 1/11/2017 | Wallace Witkowski
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On Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump’s first news conference since July didn’t deliver fresh insights into the billionaire’s policies, but it did manage to whipsaw Wall Street stocks.

U.S. equities tumbled after the presser started, with comments from Trump that drug companies were “getting away with murder” with respect to pricing. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.50% the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.28% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.21% all closed higher in the wake of the hourlong conference.

Equities - Promise - Clarity - Trump - Promise

Equities had traded higher on the promise clarity on Trump’s promise of delivering a shot in the arm to the U.S. economy, but with a dearth of details and a focus on railing against news outlets, stock investors struggled for a spark. The news event also took an odd turn, with Trump at one point batting down a series of reporter requests to pose questions, one with the declaration: “You are fake news!”

Here’s how some of the trading action played out in a number of assets:

Stocks - Session - Trade - Drop - Press

Stocks spent the session in choppy trade, following the drop that kick off the press conference. Toward the end of the session, stocks recovered from their lows of the day, with the Dow closing up 0.5% at 19,954.28, putting the blue-chip gauge about less than 50 points shy of the psychologically significant 20,000 level Wall Street has been breathlessly watching.

The biggest losers from those comments have been health-care shares, on fears of more stringent price controls. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index IBB, -2.99% finished the day down 3%, but the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.21% rang up an all-time closing high.

Impact - Markets - Trump - News - Conference

“The biggest impact on markets out of Trump news conference was on Biotech firms,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets, in emailed comments. “You cannot say that this was not going to happen, as...
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