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Stocks plunge again...Trump blasts Fed...No resolution in sight on shutdown

December 24, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have plunged again, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 653 points on a holiday-shortened trading day following President Trump’s tweet attacking the Federal Reserve and its independence. The Dow Jones lost 2.9 percent and the benchmark S&P500 lost 2.7 percent after the president’s tweet expressing frustration over the Fed’s decision to raise its key short-term rate. The Nasdaq fell 2.2 percent. Trading volume was low as the market closed early ahead of the Christmas holiday shutdown.

NEW YORK (AP) — Today’s sell-off extends the market’s losses after its worst week in more than seven years. The major indexes are down 16 to 26 percent from their autumn highs. Technology stocks, health care companies and banks took some of the heaviest losses in the sell-off, which began following news that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called CEOs of six major banks Sunday in an apparent attempt to stabilize jittery markets.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says the only problem facing the U.S. economy is the Federal Reserve, which has raised its key short-term rate four times this year given the low unemployment rate and brisk pace of economic growth. The president is tweeting that Fed officials “don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders.” Trump has argued that the Fed is hindering the economy through its rate increases, which are intended to prevent inflation from rising too high.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has been meeting with his Homeland Security secretary and other officials to discuss border security issues as a partial government shutdown over his U.S.-Mexico border wall entered Christmas without a clear resolution in sight. Though both sides have traded offers over the dollars, they remain far apart on the wall. The White House insists Trump will reject any deal that does not include money for a wall or fence; Democrats were holding firm in their opposition to a wall or other physical barrier.

LONDON (AP) — The British government has decided to ban third-party sales of puppies and kittens to improve animal welfare. Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley said Sunday the ban “is part of our commitment to make sure the nation’s much-loved pets get the right start in life.” The decision follows a public consultation that found widespread support for banning third-party sales.