In recent weeks, share prices across the world have plummeted – including on the US stock market. The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 reached record highs on 26 January, but fell by 10% last week.

Loyal supporters of President Donald Trump believe this is proof that Wall Street is being manipulated in order to make him appear incompetent.

Since taking office, Trump has cited a healthy stock market as a sign of his success. On 7 January he tweeted: "The Stock Market has been creating tremendous benefits for our country in the form of not only Record Setting Stock Prices, but present and future Jobs, Jobs, Jobs."

On New Year's Eve he tweeted: "​If the Dems (Crooked Hillary) got elected, your stocks would be down 50% from values on Election Day. Now they have a great future – and just beginning!​"

In an apparent attempt to explain the recent dips, the president tried to pin the blame on the media, writing: "In the 'old days,' when good news was reported, the Stock Market would go up. Today, when good news is reported, the Stock Market goes down. Big mistake, and we have so much good (great) news about the economy!"

This ties into the beliefs of right-wing conspiracy theorists in the US, who argue that mysterious agents acting to bring down Trump are causing the stock market to dip on purpose.

In a piece titled An Explanation for Market Volatility You'll Hear No Place Else, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh wrote on his website: "Is it possible for somebody to engineer a collapse in the market like that?"

"I don't know. But I know people who think they know... And they are all suspicious.

"All anybody needed was a one-day plunge that was significant in order to do coordinated news reports on the failing Trump economy, particularly because Trump focuses on market activity so much and so often as evidence that his administration is a positive thing for the American economy, the American worker, and he points to the robust activity in the market as a sign," he added.

Michael Savage, another popular talk radio host, commented on the markets by drawing on the idea of the Deep State – the conspiracy theory that the government is secretly run by a group which flouts democracy.

"They're trying to destroy Trump's strongest card which is the economy," he commented, according to conservative media newsletter Right Ricther.

"Mueller has gone nowhere with his fake Russia investigation. 'The establishment, meaning the deep state, call it whatever you want, went into overdrive to destroy Trump, or try to destroy him where he is strongest because they couldn't get him where they thought he was weakest. And so they're taking the market down."