Trump blames 'glitch' for stock market downturn

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE on Wednesday played down a brutal December for Wall Street and called on the Federal Reserve to help boost the declining stock market.

Trump told reporters Wednesday that the bloody December for U.S. stocks was caused by “a little glitch” and predicted a strong 2019 for the market. He predicted that stocks would rise close to 30 percent by year’s end after the president finalizes trade deals with China and the European Union.

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Last year was the worst for U.S. stocks since 2008, and this past month was the bloodiest December for Wall Street since the Great Depression. While stocks skyrocketed from Trump’s 2016 election through the end of 2017, the market turned sour in 2018 amid rising threats to the global economy.

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Trump had frequently blamed the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powell, for 2018’s rocky market, citing the central bank’s interest rate hikes. He renewed his criticism of the Fed on Wednesday, saying “We need a little help from the Fed,” for the market to rebound, according to Bloomberg.

While traders have braced for rising interest rates driven by Fed rate hikes, analysts have pinned most of the market downturn on trade tensions triggered by Trump’s tariffs on steel, aluminum and Chinese goods. Economists also see growing signs of a global slowdown within the next two years.

Stocks opened sharply lower Wednesday, the first day of trading in 2019, before rebounding by the afternoon.