U.S. President Donald Trump sits during a meeting with Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnam’s prime minister, not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S.(Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg)

Trump Urges Buying the Dip After Stocks Sink on D.C. Dysfunction

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump suggested that a recent swoon in U.S. stock markets is a buying opportunity for investors, even though many analysts blame his policies and Washington gridlock for the plunge.

“We have companies -- the greatest in the world, and they’re doing really well,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. “They have record kinds of numbers. So I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to buy. Really a great opportunity to buy.”

U.S. equities extended a weeks-long slide into Christmas Eve, dragging the benchmark S&P 500 index to its lowest level in 20 months. The president has looked to the stock market as a barometer on his administration, and the declines have infuriated him.

Trump Urges Buying the Dip After Stocks Sink on D.C. Dysfunction

He has discussed firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell over the central bank’s interest rate increases, which Trump and his allies blame for the market plunge, though he concluded over the weekend it wasn’t within his power, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The latest run of selling has come amid White House turmoil led by Trump and a gridlocked U.S. government.

Mnuchin recommended Powell’s nomination, raising speculation that Trump could turn his wrath to the Treasury secretary, whom he can more easily dismiss. But Trump said Tuesday he retains confidence in Mnuchin and called him “very talented.”

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