After blithely ignoring the constant chaos in Washington for 17 months, it finally mattered to the stock market.

Guess what was at the top of the list of retaliatory Chinese import duties announced last week?

California wine!

The great irony here is that half of the Napa Valley wineries are now owned by Chinese investors looking for a bolt-hole from their own government. Billionaires in China have been known to disappear into thin air.

And after years of trying, we were just getting Chinese consumers interested in tasting our fine chardonnays, merlots, and cabernet sauvignons.

It will be a slap in the face for our impoverished farmworkers who actually pick the grapes, who have just been getting back on their feet after last fall’s hellacious fires.

California is on the front line of the new trade war with China.

Not only is the Middle Kingdom the largest foreign buyer of the Golden State’s grapes, almonds, raisins, and nuts, it also is the biggest foreign investor, plowing some $16 billion in investments back here in 2016.

Down 1,700 Dow points on the week and a breathtaking 1,400 points in two days. It was the worst week for the markets in two years. And the technology and financial stocks suffered the worst spanking – the two market leaders. The most widely owned stocks are seeing the worst declines.

We certainly are paying the piper for our easy money made last year. The Dow Average is now a loser in 2018, off 4.1% and back to November levels.

The Dow 600 point “flash crash” we saw in the final two hours of trading on Friday was almost an exact repeat of the February 9 swoon that took us to the exact same levels.

There was no institutional selling. It was simply a matter of algorithms gone wild. The news flow that day was actually quite good.

Micron Technology (MU) announced blockbuster earnings and high target.

Dropbox (DBX) went public and immediately saw its shares soar by 50% in the aftermarket. The president signed an emergency funding bill to keep the government open, despite repeated threats not to do so.

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