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Markets reflect confusion following debate

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 4:53 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Many who watched last night’s presidential debate might agree with pundits who say it did little to shed clarity on policy. And, many voters were left confused.

The markets reflected the uncertainty everyone felt after the debate.

“Hard to follow.” “Frustrating.” “Just a joke.” This is how people are describing last night’s presidential debate.

The people I talked to Wednesday said the debate was hard to watch and harder to follow because of all the back and forth between President Donald Trump and Presidential Nominee Joe Biden.

It was a debate like no other. Tensions flared between the president and the presidential nominee. People say the arguments overshadowed the issues.

“They like to argue back and forth and steer clear of what actual questions were asked to them,” said Mandan resident Trevor Johnson.

“It was like two kids talking to each other. I was frustrated so I just switched and never switched back,” said Bismarck Resident Norlyn Schmidt.

The confusion following the debate made its way to Wall Street.

After the debate and into the early hours of the morning, futures were pointed in a negative direction.

“The market hates uncertainty. And last night, we didn’t hear anything about policy. We didn’t hear anything about what you’re going to do as president. We just heard back and forth, trading personal barbs. We didn’t hear anything really of substance,” said David Wald with Securian Financial Services.

Analysts say the investor reaction stemmed from the volatility of the debate itself rather than the politics.

“The economics they’ve presented were nothing different than I think what people knew. There wasn’t any surprise there. Why September has been so bad is how volatile the election’s going to be itself. When we have a president in the balance with philosophies that are so different, that’s just going to create volatility by itself,” said Bismarck State College Economics Instructor Ryan Jockers.

Jockers says the volatility will likely continue through the end of 2020. He says the economy hinges on the election outcome and a cure for the coronavirus.

Wald says the market was able to recover some losses as the uncertainty from the debate was overshadowed by optimism following talks of a second stimulus package.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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