WASHINGTON, February 27, 2017 – For at least a couple of weeks now, we’ve been looking for stock market averages to take an extended breather or at least pull back a bit. But once again on Monday, as February winds toward March, Mr. Market told us, “Not gonna happen.” Well, at least not yet.
The widely-followed Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed up slightly over 15 points during a trading day that found the average looking a little wobbly early in the day. As of Monday’s closing bell, the average stood at 20,837.44, not far from the 21,000 mark.
Meanwhile, the broader-based S&P 500 also had a good day, up 2.41, to end the day at 2,369.75 as that average tentatively eyes the 2,400 barrier. The NASDAQ was also strong today, though not overwhelmingly so.
Some of Monday’s earlier squeamishness may have had something to do with fears that President Trump’s address to Congress tomorrow evening will hit the market’s irrational exuberance with a thud.
The only thing that’s likely for the moment is that Democrats in attendance at Tuesday evening’s joint session will pull some kind of juvenile action, emulating the thug-like antics of the Soros-paid professional thugs who’ve loudly disrupted every local town-hall meeting held by Republican Congresspeople that they can find.
As a party, the Democrats are in shambles right now, largely because paid professional left-wing agitators simply won’t countenance any hint that a rogue Democrat might actually try to help Republicans govern the country like Congresspeople are supposed to do.
On the other hand, the feckless Republicans—in substantial control of America right now if you count their dominance of state houses and governorships across the country as well as their lock on Congress and the presidency—are pulling their usual Wrong-way Corrigan act and allowing Democrats to continue stymieing the remaining cabinet-level confirmations President Trump needs in order to replace the cadre of Obama-appointed criminals, miscreants and leakers still largely in control of numerous agencies. You know, the “leakers” Trump can’t seem to “control.”
Republicans in both houses are already making a cowardly mess out of “repealing and replacing” Obamacare, something they should have had in the bag at the end of last year’s campaign. God knows they’ve had enough time to put a reasonable package together.
But, just as the Democrats clearly remain the Evil Party, Republicans are doing their best to cement their own rep as the Stupid Party, preening away, dissing their admittedly unusual President, and trying to score points when their constituents expect them to score major legislative victories.
Trump himself has made it abundantly clear that solving Obamacare is job one, and has already promised not to bother finishing off his own final tax cutting plans until and unless the Obamacare menace is convincingly dealt with. For all the crap that Trump is getting from all quarters, his current approach is commonsensical and logical as well. Since Obamacare involves all sorts of taxes, tax credits, tax breaks and tax punishments—Chief Justice Roberts told us so—having these issues settled before advancing any new comprehensive tax plan is quite simply the only way to go.
Trump’s most recent speeches, including the rabble-rouser he delivered at CPAC last week, have been more teleprompter, less off-the-cuff and thus clearer and more effective of late. For that reason, at least in this corner, we hope that whatever he advances on Obamacare before Congress Tuesday evening will look like a beacon of hope to flailing Republicans while making the Democrats—and whatever stupid antics and showboating they attempt to pull—look like the brownshirts, anarchists and political cowards they really are. 50-50 on this one, which, in a way, is what Mr. Market said today.
Then again, there’s always that on-again, off-again, for sure but maybe not Federal Reserve interest rate increase that may or may not be put in play on the Ides of March.
One thing’s for sure: For both the stock market and for the average American, the 2017 thrill ride has only just begun. Everything is political right now, and those perceptions will be moving the market decisively over the next few weeks.