The Stock Market Just Posted Its Worst Q2 Opening Since the Great Depression
The stock market appears to be suffering as a result of new trade initiatives and a fear of a dispute between Trump and Amazon. (Image via The New Yorker)

The U.S. stock market had its worst April start since the Great Depression. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had a fall of more than 600 points.

According to Ashley Collman from Daily Mail, the S&P 500, which serves as an indicator of the health of the U.S. stock market, fell 2.2 percent.

Only one time in history has the index fallen so precipitously, and that was in 1929, when the index fell 2.5 percent. Later that year, on Oct. 29, Black Tuesday occurred, crashed the stock market and kicked-off the 12-year Great Depression.

On Monday, equities also dropped more than any other quarterly first day since October 2011, when stocks fell 2.8 percent.

China’s raised import duties, as well as President Trump’s attacks on Amazon, are believed to have instigated the drop.

In response to new American policies, such as tariffs on imported steel and aluminum that make international trade less lucrative for American companies, China has raised import duties on U.S. pork, apples and other products. China also raised import duties on a $3 billion list of U.S. goods.

Tyson Foods, one of the nation’s largest pork producers, was among the biggest losers in the stock market. It slumped $3.37 per share, or 4.6 percent, to $69.82 per share, while Hormel and Pilgrim’s Pride took smaller losses.

In 2017, American farm exports to China totaled nearly $20 billion, including $1.1 billion of pork products.

Trump’s approval of possible higher duties on Chinese goods has led to a bigger dispute. Investors are worried that increasing tensions over trade could slow down global commerce and hurt corporate profits.

The president is separately preparing to impose tariffs of more than $50 billion targeting “largely high-technology Chinese products.”

He has also criticized Amazon repeatedly over issues including taxes and the company’s shipping deals with the U.S. Postal Service. According to his Twitter, Trump seems to believe that Amazon is a big factor in the stock market’s downfall.

According to CNN Money, Trump tweeted about Amazon five times on Thursday.

“I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy. Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them bourne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. P.O. leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)!”

Amazon stock has fallen 8 percent and the company has lost $60 billion in market value since Axios first reported last week that Trump wants to “go after” the company.

Trump says Amazon takes advantage of the post office and does not pay its fair share of taxes. Amazon pays the same lower rate that the post office charges other bulk shippers, and it collects sales tax in every state that charges it.

As of right now, Trump has only tweeted his frustrations with the issue of Amazon, but Wall Street investors are afraid he may take action in the future.

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Erin Alexander

Middle Tennessee State University

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