WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday played down the stock market's drop at the end of 2018, calling it a "glitch" and saying the market will again go up once various trade deals are settled.
U.S. stocks started the new year down more than 1 percent on Wednesday, as weak data in Asia and Europe reinforced fears of a global economic slowdown while the U.S. government shutdown dragged on.
By early afternoon, though, stocks had turned positive, with the three major U.S. market indexes higher.
Trump, speaking to reporters at a cabinet meeting, sounded upbeat about negotiations to reach a trade deal with China, saying they are coming along very well.
The United States and China are about one month into a 90-day pause in implementing tariffs and other measures in a trade war that dominated much of 2018, as they work on hammering out a deal.
U.S. trade deals with Canada and Mexico also await congressional approval.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by James Dalgleish)