The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1,175 points on Monday, a decline of 4.6 percent. Earlier in the day, the stock market was down over 1500 points, the largest intraday drop in history.
Monday’s decline was on the same day as Jerome Powell, the new chair of the Federal Reserve, is to be sworn in. Combined with a downturn of 666 on Friday, the drop of 1,841 points is the sixth-largest two-day drop in the history of the index.
Forces driving the decline are believed to include fear of rising interest rates in response to potential inflation and the nation’s political turmoil. The Federal Reserve has the power to raise the prime lending rate, which tends to drive all interest rates up, including those charged to consumers and all borrowers.
U.S. shifting some troops from Iraq
The United States is starting to reduce the troop level in Iraq after the apparent victory by Iraqi and other coalition forces, according to a variety of sources.
According to the Associated Press, planeloads of American soldiers – along with vehicles and weapons – have been spotted leaving Iraq for Afghanistan.
“The battle against Daesh has ended, and so the level of the American presence will be reduced,” said government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi, referring to ISIS.
The movement of troops precedes national elections in Iraq in May. Iraqi and troops from dozens of other names have been battling ISIS since 2010. The “Islamic state” attempted to create a cross-national new “caliphate” and impose a strict version of Islamic law across much of the Middle East. After some early success, ISIS was pushed back from its strongholds and is considered – for the time being – to be defeated.
Paul Simon announces final tour
Folk and rock icon Paul Simon announced Monday he will be retiring from touring. Simon, 76, said, “I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing.”
The announcement comes less than a week after another rock superstar, Elton John, announced he would be rounding up his touring career. Both will embark on three-year final tours.
Simon became a major popular music star in 1965 with the “Sounds of Silence” hit as part of the Simon and Garfunkel duo. They had several successful albums, but broke up in 1970. Simon continued as a solo act and performed well on the record charts well into the 1980s.
War of words continues over memos
The political verbal battle between President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponents resumed Monday. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) will be calling for a vote on a rebuttal to the classified memo Republicans released on Monday attacking the FBI and Department of Justice’s investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.
In a tweet, the President called Schiff “one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington.”
Redistricting may resume in Pennsylvania
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request by Republicans in Pennsylvania to block a lower court’s ruling that would require the state to re-draw its congressional districts. Democrats alleged that the districts had been illegally draw to favor GOP candidates.
Republicans currently hold 12 of 18 Congressional seats in the state, although a majority of registered voters are Democrats. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court sided with the Democrats and ordered that a new map be submitted by Feb. 15.
Categories: The Wider World