Yet, looking only through the lens of the stock market, it is rather apt, assuming it is quickly followed by the words, “maybe a little too quiet” – the phrase that usually precedes the start of the shooting.
And, until Monday, it was clear that the optimists were in the ascendency. Worries about valuations and politics were brushed aside in the last quarter of 2016 and the first month of 2017 by a combination of stronger economic data and the ‘Trump rally’ behemoth as investors looked to the pro-growth positives and studiously ignored the potential negatives.
On Monday, however, a sea of red greeted investors following a tumultuous weekend for US foreign policy.
As Chris Beauchamp, chief markets analyst at IG characterised it: “The market narrative has shifted once again. For the past three months a Trump presidency has been heralded as great for stocks. Now, with Dow 20,000 behind us, it seems his government can be blamed for the bout of selling that has engulfed markets. The truth, as ever, probably lies somewhere in between these two extremes but there is probably some truth in the idea that geopolitical jitters are playing a part in price action today.”
While the major Western indices were only down around 1 to 2%, Beauchamp pointed out Trump’s busy week and the lighter volumes that come with holidays in Asian markets could well have been the opening for which bears were looking, he added.