>> Frantic efforts by US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, failing to stem a Wall Street sell-off. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 653 points Monday, its worst Christmas Eve trading ever, falling below the 22,000 mark for the first time in 15 months. The S&P 500 dropped over 2.5% at its lowest level since April 2017, closing what traders call a bear market.
The free fall in stocks came after the US Federal Reserve followed through on an expected interest rate hike last week. Reuters Markets Editor, Dan Burns.>> Stocks are plunging once again on a litany of worries, including indications that US economic growth might be slowing, there's pretty broad dysfunction in Washington with the federal government, a partial federal government shutdown.
And of course, you've got the president very angry at the Federal Reserve over having raised interest rates and signaled there's more to come. Add it all together, and particularly the last element with a president appearing to meddle directly and deeply inside what is supposed to be an independent central bank is been very disconcerting for investors, and they voted with their feet and the market plunged.
>> US president, Donald Trump, raged against the Central Bank on Twitter Monday, writing, the only problem our economy has is the Fed.>> Very specific.>> Meanwhile, the treasury secretary trying to stem the market mayhem while on vacation in Cabo. On Monday, Mnuchin held a conference call with the top US financial regulators, dubbed the Plunge Protection Team, formed in response to 1987's Black Monday market crash.
Mnuchin also made calls to top US bankers on Sunday. And according to the Treasury, he got reassurances that banks were still able to make loans.