President Donald Trump downplayed the stock market's Tuesday losses as "peanuts" when compared to both the economic importance of striking a favorable trade deal with China and the market's gains since his election.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average "was about 16,000 or 15,000 and now it's almost at 30,000," Trump said at an international NATO summit in London. "It's going to be at 30,000."
"If the stock market goes up or down: I don't watch the stock market. I watch jobs. Jobs are what I watch," he added. Today's move is "peanuts compared to — We have picked up record numbers so that's OK. That's the way I feel."
The major stock indexes slid on Tuesday after Trump earlier in the session said that he thinks it would be a good idea to delay inking a trade deal with China after the 2020 presidential election. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 450 points at its lows on Tuesday, led lower by trade-vulnerable Apple, Caterpillar and 3M.
"In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right," Trump told reporters earlier on Tuesday. When asked if he had a deal deadline, he added: "I have no deadline, no … In some ways, I think it is better to wait until after the election if you want to know the truth."
Despite his assurances that he doesn't watch the market's daily moves, Trump often tweets within hours whenever the U.S. equity market reaches a new all-time high.