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Global markets tumbled this morning, following the stunning 1,175-point drop of the Dow. That was its worst point drop on record for one day. The 4.6% decline was the stock market’s worst day since August 2011 and wiped out all this year’s gains. It also erased a quarter of the “Trump rally.” It’s unclear what will happen today: US futures were down overnight, then started to recover.
Why is this happening? The hot economy may be a little too hot. Unemployment’s so low that we finally saw decent wage growth in the latest jobs report, sparking inflation fears. And that, in turn, worries investors that the Fed will be more aggressive in raising interest rates to cool everything down.
So, what should you do? Probably nothing. It’s best to play the long game with stocks, and the market had been so hot that it had to cool down eventually.
2. President Trump
The end of the government shutdown finds Republicans and Democrats moving even further apart on immigration. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer withdrew an offer that would have approved funding for President Trump’s border wall. And the White House indicates it wants more than just the wall and additional resources on the Southern border in exchange for a DACA fix. It wants Homeland Security to have more power to remove undocumented immigrants. These changes in positioning risk losing the support of very conservative and very liberal lawmakers. Which means we’ll probably be facing another immigration-fueled shutdown come February 8.
Meanwhile, House Republicans plan a vote today on yet another short-term spending bill to keep the government open. The government shuts down Thursday unless a spending deal is reached. The bill, which would keep the lights on through March 23, would also fund the military for a full year. That’d pass the House, but it’d be DOA in the Senate. Combine that with lingering uncertainty over a DACA deal, and, well, who knows how this will play out.
3. North Korea
Are civilians in Syria being attacked with chemical weapons again? The Syrian National Coalition, made up of opposition groups, thinks so and wants the UN to stop it. There were reports over the weekend that chlorine gas attacks took place in Idlib province, but CNN hasn’t independently verified those claims. Russia, an ally of Syria’s government, has ramped up airstrikes there after one of its pilots was shot down and later killed in an exchange of gunfire.
4. North Korea
What does Kim Jong Un really want? CIA Director Mike Pompeo thinks the North Korean leader is developing nukes for more than just preserving his regime. Pompeo says Kim’s ultimate goal is to take over the entire Korean Peninsula, and he’s prepared to use both nuclear weapons and conventional military forces to do it. So could the US do a limited military strike to stop him without risking a full-scale war? Pompeo wouldn’t answer that, but President Trump has said in the past that all options are on the table when it comes to dealing with North Korea.
5. Salmonella outbreak
Amid flu fears, the Olympic facilities in Pyeongchang, South Korea, now battle a norovirus outbreak, just days before the Games start. At least 41 security guards have been hospitalized with vomiting and diarrhea. To stop the disease’s spread, the other guards have been pulled and replaced with 900 military personnel.
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RIP, Frasier’s dad
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Love him like a rock
If you’ve never seen Paul Simon live, you’d better hurry. The music legend’s next tour will be his last.
’Got a Christmas tree fire’
Philadelphia celebrated the Eagles’ epic Super Bowl win with grace and decorum. Don’t believe us? Just listen to the police scanner calls.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
QUOTE OF THE DAY
It “will either be a great rocket launch or the best fireworks display they’ve ever seen.”
Elon Musk, expressing great confidence in today’s test launch of The Falcon Heavy, which may be the world’s most powerful operational rocket
AND FINALLY …
Watch and learn
Watch these cats watch a Japanese chef make homemade tofu. (Click to view.)