Stocks Battle Back as Trump’s Election Shock Fades
As the world awaits key cabinet appointments and a legislative agenda, U.S. stocks got more comfortable with President Trump as equities bounced back from steep losses overnight and bonds yields moved higher.
Gold prices rose 1% to $1,288 a troy ounce while silver prices followed suit, rising to $18.63 a pound. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond, which moves inversely to its price, rose 0.110 percentage points to 1.97%. The move in the Treasury note was a total reversal from yields that touched 1.7% in the overnight hours.
Meanwhile, the Mexican peso continued to see sharp selling pressure, dropping 8.42% Wednesday morning against the U.S. dollar, though it had rebounded slightly from historic losses of nearly 12% in the immediate aftermath of the election outcome. Wall Street has used the currency as its favorite proxy for betting on the presidential race during the 2016 election cycle. As Trump’s prospects of winning looked better, the peso intensified its selloff.
With a measured selloff in Asian and European equity markets, U.S. stocks clawed back losses after dropping as much as 5% overnight. For scope, back in June when United Kingdom citizens voted to leave the European Union, markets saw a similar, but sustained selloff of more than 5% on the broader S&P 500 – the stock index often seen as a barometer for the U.S. economy.
With a President-Elect Trump set to take office alongside a Republican-controlled Congress in January, markets are realizing the outcome may be less of a shock than originally expected.
“Markets like a Congressional buffer, now they have a clean sweep,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. “Let markets absorb the results and wait for policy guidance along with cabinet names…let the market work its collective head around this historic upset. That’s the market’s job and it’s good at it, having decades of experience.”
With Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton having conceded defeat, Krosby expects biotechnology and pharmaceutical stocks to see less pressure in the coming months. Indeed, names like Pfizer (PFE), Mylan (MYL), Allergan (AGN), and Eli Lilly (LLY) rallied as the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index jumped 5.7% on the session. Not only had Clinton been a loud proponent of increased oversight of the nation’s drug companies, vowing to go after “excessive” drug-price hikes, Donald Trump has promised to make an effort to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s hallmark Affordable Care Act law.
Also the energy sector could see a boost given Trump’s desire to reduce regulation, while fiscal spending could help boost growth in infrastructure sectors, that may help companies such as Caterpillar (CAT).
But the outcome could also throw a wrench in the Federal Reserve’s perceived plan to hike short-term interest rates next month. After a year of uncertainty – including global growth jitters that sent stocks plunging in the first quarter, a shock Brexit decision, and now a Trump presidency – there could be more uncertainty ahead.
“If you were worried about the downside effects of a Fed tightening in December that may well be off the table…only time will tell if the economic fundamentals will deteriorate over the near-term horizon. Against the worst expectations, this has not happened in the U.K. post-Brexit – yet,” said David Lafferty, chief market strategist at Natixis Capital Markets.
Even though Fed Chief Janet Yellen has insisted in recent months any decision on rates will be made independent of politics and completely reliant on U.S. economic data, she has clearly communicated financial-market volatility is factored into the decision equation. Federal funds futures, have priced in a lower chance of a rate rise next month with odds standing at 66.8%, down from 76.3% ahead of Tuesday’s election outcome.