Wall Street suffered a mild panic attack Friday. But it didn’t last long.
The Dow was down as much as 350 points because of reports that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was prepared to testify against President Trump in the investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
But the market quickly rebounded from its lows. The Dow was off less than 100 points in midday trading.
That’s hardly a big drop when you consider that stocks hit all-time highs this week on growing hopes that the Senate will pass a tax reform bill. The Dow topped 24,000 for the first time on Thursday.
This also is not the first time the market has grown nervous about Trump administration chaos. But previous sell-offs have been fleeting.
The Dow plunged 373 points on May 17 after reports surfaced of a memo from former FBI Director James Comey that said Trump had asked him to stop the investigation of Flynn.
But the market quickly rebounded and hit an all-time high on June 8 — the day Comey testified in front of Congress.
Stocks also fell briefly on July 11 after Donald Trump Jr. released a chain of emails showing that he had agreed to meet a Russian attorney who claimed to have incriminating information on Hillary Clinton. Stocks recovered by the end of the day.
Then, on August 17, there were rumors that Gary Cohn, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, was thinking of resigning because of Trump’s initial response to violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump blamed “both sides.”
The Dow plunged nearly 275 points that day as investors worried that Cohn, formerly the chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, might leave. But those rumors didn’t last long, either.
The bottom line is that Wall Street still believes in the Trump agenda.
Investors are still in a cheery mood because the economy seems to be gaining steam, the job market is healthy, consumers are spending, and businesses are churning out solid profits.
“Tax reform doesn’t need to be affected by the political and legal issues facing Mr. Flynn, and ultimately the market will look past the politics and focus on the positive economic fundamentals and benefits of tax reform,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer with Independent Advisor Alliance, in an email.
“The Trump rally may be interrupted, but it will resume as long as the economy continues to improve and corporate profitability continues on the path it’s been on,” Zaccarelli added.