The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst recorded Christmas Eve day of trading Monday, dropping more than 640 points, while the S&P 500 dropped more than 50 points and entered a bear market, a 20 percent fall from its peak in August.
The dismal day of trading followed the Dow’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008. The continued market decline followed tweets from President Trump attacking the Federal Reserve.
“The only problem our economy has is the Fed,” Trump said, comparing the central bank to a golfer with no short game.
Reports that Trump was considering firing Fed chief Jerome Powell exacerbated an already dour mood on Wall Street, where traders are concerned about a mounting trade war with China, slowing economic growth in the U.S. and abroad, the partial government shutdown and heightened geopolitical risk.
Markets are on track to have their worst December since 1931, at the height of the Great Depression. They are in the red for the entirety of 2018.
According to CNBC, the second worst Dow performance on Christmas Eve was more than 30 years ago, in 1985, when it fell just over 0.6 percent. Monday’s close drop amounted to 2.9 percent.
Markets closed at 1 p.m. on Monday for the Christmas holiday and will remain closed Tuesday.
The dismal Monday trading follows an attempt by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to reassure bankers about the market’s stability.
Mnuchin said Sunday that he spoke with the heads of six major banks — Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo — but the unusual message may have backfired, with analysts noting that the group Mnuchin was calling together was the same as the “Plunge Protection Team” that met at the height of the 2009 financial crisis.