>> US president, Donald Trump, on Tuesday dialed back his criticism of the Federal Reserve. Trump said he disagreed with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's decision to continue to raise interest rates, but said he had confidence in the Fed's leadership.>> They're raising interest rates too fast, that's my opinion, but I certainly have confidence, but I think it'll straighten.
They're raising interest rates too fast because they think the economy is so good. But I think that they will get it pretty soon.>> Just a day earlier, the president took a starkly different tone. He tweeted, the only problem our economy has is the Fed. Wall Street was already down, but after that late morning tweet, the drop turned into an all out sell-off.
The Dow Jones plunged more than 650 points Monday, it's worst Christmas Eve trading day on record. The slide continued despite frantic efforts by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to steady the market. On Monday, Mnuchin convened a conference call of top financial regulators, colloquially called the Plunge Protection Team.
But stocks dropped for their eighth straight day under cutback concerns over rising interest rates and slower economic growth. The S&P 500 index is on track for its worst December since the Great Depression. On Tuesday, Trump tried to put a silver lining on the dark cloud hanging over Wall Street.
>> I have great confidence in our companies. We have companies, the greatest in the world, and they're doing really well, they have record kinds of numbers. So I think it's a tremendous opportunity to buy, really a great opportunity to buy.>> Most financial markets in the US and Europe were closed for the Christmas holiday.
But in Asia, Japan's Nikkei tumbled 5% Tuesday, to cross into what traders call bear market territory.