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June 20, 2019, 4:17 p.m. EDT

Trump Today: President suggests Iran drone strike was ‘mistake’ as he takes stock market victory lap

Trump tones down Powell criticism

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By Robert Schroeder and Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office of the White House Thursday in Washington, D.C.

President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested Iran had mistakenly shot down a U.S. drone, as he highlighted stocks hitting record territory, a point he has previously linked to his stewardship of the nation.


Speaking alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office, Trump said he had a “big, big feeling” that Iran had accidentally shot the American drone and that someone “loose and stupid” was responsible.

Now read: Iran says it shot down U.S. drone amid rising tensions.

That comment appeared to temper earlier remarks by Trump, who said “you’ll soon find out” if the U.S. was planning retaliation against Tehran for the strike.

It’s not clear how the U.S. will react. The administration has already deployed another 1,000 troops to the Middle East. The U.S. has said Iran is responsible for attacks on two oil tankers, which Iran has denied. Iran also said it’s building its stockpile of uranium.

Crude-oil futures /zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed CL.1 +1.31%  jumped over $2 a barrel. Trump and Trudeau met to discuss the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement, the deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump said the deal is good for all three countries and that he believes Congress will ratify it.

See: Oil prices jump amid fresh Iran tensions, falling U.S. supply, stock-market gains.


In a brief tweet, Trump noted the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.28%   hit a record high, news that comes amid multiple polls showing him trailing Democratic rivals including former Vice President Joe Biden.

The S&P 500 has climbed 37% since Election Day on 2016, with most of those gains coming before the passage of tax cuts. During that time period, the Dow industrials /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.09%  have gained 45% and the Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.40%   has increased by 54%.

Now read: S&P 500 ends at record as investors pencil in July rate cut.

Market strategists have tied recent gains to hopes the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates as early as next month, in response to faltering survey data, which show executives concerned with the impact of tariffs and the possibility for the trade war with China to get worse.

Trump, who has consistently criticized the Fed, said Thursday he expected Chairman Jerome Powell to “eventually” cut rates. The central bank ended its policy meeting on Wednesday by leaving its key interest rate unchanged, but also left itself future wiggle room. “Can’t win it all. Eventually he’ll do what’s right,” said Trump.

Now see: Trump tones down criticism of Powell after Fed signals willingness to ease.

Data released Thursday from the Philadelphia Fed showed a big drop in manufacturing sentiment for the region in June.

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US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 54.06
+0.70 +1.31%
Volume: 401,656
Oct. 17, 2019 4:17p
+8.26 +0.28%
Volume: 1.61B
Oct. 17, 2019 4:20p
US : Dow Jones Global
+23.90 +0.09%
Volume: 222.54M
Oct. 17, 2019 4:20p
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
+32.67 +0.40%
Volume: 1.68M
Oct. 17, 2019 4:27p

Robert Schroeder is the White House reporter for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @mktwrobs. Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's Washington bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter @MKTWgoldstein.

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