Not Mr. Trump. Almost from the moment he was elected, he adopted the stock market as a kind of real-time, multitrillion-dollar barometer of his own performance. Since taking office, he has sent tweets or retweets with stock market references more than 200 times, and made scores of statements spotlighting the market’s rise under his administration.
“Broke all time Stock Market Record again today,” he wrote on Twitter last December. “135 times since my 2016 Election Win. Thank you!”
When stocks have slumped, the president publicly framed falling prices as the work of those he considers political opponents, including the Federal Reserve, congressional Democrats and the news media. He has publicly threatened and castigated major American companies, facing off with Amazon.com over its tax payments and deals with the U.S. Postal Service; with General Motors, Ford and Carrier — then a subsidiary of United Technologies — over plans to shutter plants; and with Lockheed Martin and Boeing over the costs of fighter jets and replacements for Air Force One.
Mr. Trump has disclosed market-moving information after private discussions with executives and appeared to hint at upside surprises from economic data that his office was privy to. He has demanded that the Fed cut interest rates to prop up the market. He has treated serious policy developments — such as the twists and turns of his trade war with China — with his typical flair for showmanship, unveiling his changing positions in a hail of unexpected tweets that sent share prices tumbling on multiple occasions.
“He is very much an outlier in terms of his focus on the stock market,” said B. Dan Wood, a professor of political science at Texas A&M University, who has compiled a database of presidential statements on the economy. “I think no former president and likely no future president will emphasize the stock market as much as Trump has,” he said.
Trump Tweets, Wall Street Weeps
Mr. Trump’s focus on the stock market prompted Wall Street’s money managers, bankers, analysts, investment advisers and other professionals — who usually rank day-to-day political developments low on the ladder of market-moving concerns — to follow the president’s missives on Twitter, either by joining the platform or getting briefed on it regularly.
“There was just so much more material in this administration,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at investment management firm Invesco, who has been watching financial markets since 1995. “We just didn’t hear as much from past presidents.”