Kudlow: 'Toppy' tech stocks led the market down, not Trump's tariffs

  • White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the recent market downturn was spurred by overbought tech stocks, not President Donald Trump's tariffs.
  • He also predicted that the economy would grow by at least 3 percent in 2019.

The recent stock market pullback resulted more from overvalued technology stocks than it did from worries over President Donald Trump's tariffs, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Thursday.

"I think a lot of the big, big tech stocks, the FANG stocks, got pretty toppy, and they were due for a correction," Kudlow said at a small business forum in Washington, D.C. "That's just one man's opinion, that's not the official White House view or anything like that. You know, I think they led the market down. A correction was probably overdue."

The S&P 500 lost more than 9 percent from its most recent high before rebounding this week. Tech stocks indeed fell hard during the plunge, though the damage has been fairly widespread, hitting energy, industrials and discretionary shares particularly hard.

Despite the downturn, Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said the overall growth story remains intact.

Asked if the economy can continue rising at its present 3 percent path into 2019, he said, "Yes, yes, Kudlow forecast. Maybe higher."

On whether the Trump tariffs figured into the downturn, he responded, "I doubt it very much. The economy's so healthy right now, and profits are soaring."

Kudlow spoke at a Washington Post forum focused on small business and how it will be impacted by federal policy. The industry is "enjoying a very strong economic boom" that he said will continue.