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Stock market erases nearly its entire rise since Trump took office

President Donald J. Trump steps out of the motorcade during the 58th Presidential Inauguration parade in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. More than 5,000 military members from across all branches of the armed forces of the United States, including Reserve and National Guard components, provided ceremonial support and Defense Support of Civil Authorities during the inaugural period. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Spc. Abigayle Marks)

The stock market—Donald Trump's most treasured talking point—delivered Trump a gut punch Wednesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged below 20,000, erasing nearly all gains since he took office. The steep nosedive of the S&P 500 also triggered a market-wide pause in trading for the third time in just over a week.

The stock market has been among Trump's favorite hits. No matter what new low he has achieved in his presidency—corruption, self-dealing, extortion, etc.—Trump has always turned to the stock market and the economy to wash away the ills and declare himself the best president ever.

"Highest Stock Market In History, By Far!” he tweeted on February 19. Indeed, a cavalry of his loyalists regularly tout the heft of their 401(k)s whenever someone asks about their support for Trump.

Any politician with a lick of sense would have avoided hanging his hat almost entirely on the stock market, given its fluctuations and often fickle nature. But now Trump is stuck with his own marker, leaving a bunch of his eager supporters deflated and deprived of one of their goto refrains.

Note that Trump eagerly declared himself a "wartime president" Wednesday morning. If the market doesn't recover in the next couple months, he will spend the remainder of the year finger-pointing and repeatedly painting himself the victim while the American people bear the brunt of the actual suffering. Can’t think of a better look heading into an election.

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