Thursday, October 27, 2016

Wall Street's Take On Possible Impact Of U.S. Elections

By Tenzin Pema and Geetha Panchaksharam
Reuters
October 27, 2016

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump are in a tight race ahead of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.

Following is a weekly roundup of financial market analysts' views on the likely outcome of the U.S. elections and the possible implications of a Trump or Clinton win on financial markets.

LARRY BIEGELSEN, SENIOR ANALYST, HEALTHCARE TEAM, WELLS FARGO


"The probability of either a Republican or a Democratic sweep of both the Executive and Legislative branches is low, but certainly not negligible. We think these scenarios would be more volatile for stocks."

REPUBLICAN SWEEP: Positive for devices, pharma, biotech, tools and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Negative for managed care, facilities and digital health stocks

DEMOCRATIC SWEEP: Positive for managed care, facilities and digital health stocks. Negative for devices, pharma, biotech, tools and PBMs

MICHAEL ZEZAS, STRATEGIST, MORGAN STANLEY

"With Trump's chances fading, and Clinton's lead growing, the 'Democratic Sweep' now carries greater -- albeit still small -- odds, raising the prospects for increased infrastructure spending (a positive bias for risk assets) and for heavier regulation of the financial and pharma sectors (a negative bias for both)."

LORI CALVASINA, U.S. EQUITY STRATEGY, CREDIT SUISSE

"We think short-term risk for the broader U.S. equity market has been reduced, but not eliminated. In many investors' minds, the perceived risks associated with a Trump victory in the Presidential race have been replaced with concerns about the implications of a Democratic sweep of leadership in Congress (for both the Senate and House to flip)."

CLINTON WIN: "Near-term, the increased chance of a Clinton victory seems good for stocks with high international exposure and industrials. In the case of industrials, we see a fundamental underpinning of support from a Clinton victory in the form of plans to increase infrastructure spending. The fundamental picture for consumer discretionary is a bit trickier, given Clinton's support for an increase in the minimum wage and the likely increase in operating expenses that would result for many companies."

TRUMP WIN: "The financials and health care sectors have been trading more in line with Trump's prospects for victory this year, which we think is due to fears over increased regulatory pressures for both sectors under a Clinton-led White House. That being said, we think any future election-driven weakness in these sectors could be short-lived and note that the relationships between these sectors and Trump's polling numbers may already be starting to break down a bit."

TOBIAS LEVKOVICH, CHIEF U.S. EQUITY STRATEGIST, CITIGROUP

"A Democratic sweep, though still unlikely, might be met with concern on Wall Street as the prospect of higher taxes enters the fray."

"Republican control of the House would stymie legislation that raised taxes across a wide swath and thus Democratic control of Congress alongside the resident of the Oval Office could lead to laws that might not be well received and could be seen as divisive (similar to the Affordable Care Act). Notably, moves to broaden entitlements including free college education could be passed with single party control but most likely would be blocked by a Republican Speaker of the House."

"One would expect Secretary Clinton to want to be a successful president and thus a more forceful economic agenda will be necessary to achieve that aim. While attempts at bipartisanship are likely specifically where there is some meeting of the minds, including areas like infrastructure spending and some tax reforms, there are several areas that may be controversial such as some of the planned tax increases. Nonetheless, most political observers think Clinton would be far more willing to reach out for compromise than Obama did."

ALEC PHILLIPS, U.S. POLITICAL ECONOMIST, GOLDMAN SACHS

"A Brexit-style surprise in the U.S. presidential election is very unlikely... comparisons between the surprise outcome in the UK referendum vote earlier this year and the upcoming U.S. presidential election are hard to avoid, but we think the differences outweigh the similarities. Most importantly, polling in the UK was much closer, and much less consistent, than it has been in the us presidential campaign this year."

JARET SEIBERG, COWEN WASHINGTON RESEARCH GROUP, COWEN AND COMPANY


BANKS, HOUSING POLICY: "Sec. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have now faced off in three presidential debates without a material discussion of banks or housing. This tells us that Congress will likely shape banking policy with either Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Rep. Jeb Hensarling taking (the) lead, depending on the winner. For housing, we see both candidates as a positive, though Trump may be better for Fannie and Freddie."

JUSTIN WOLFERS, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AND NBER, AND ERIC ZITZEWITZ, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE AND NBER

MARKET OUTLOOK: "The S&P 500 futures rose by 0.71 percent during the debate window in response to a 6 percent increase in Clinton's victory probability. This implies that market participants believe that the S&P 500 will be worth 12 percent more under a President Clinton. Movements in other U.S. stock indices tell a similar story. A 12 percent difference is large both in absolute terms, and relative to how previous political shocks have moved the market."

MARKET VOLATILITY: "During the debate, futures tracking expected future U.S. stock market volatility fell sharply, suggesting that markets are more uncertain about outcomes under a Trump presidency. Oil prices rose, gold prices fell and Treasury prices declined slightly. Roughly speaking, these movements suggest that a Clinton presidency is expected to lead to stock market volatility that is 15-30 percent lower, Treasury yields that are 25 basis points higher, and oil that is $4 per barrel more expensive."

GLOBAL MARKETS: "Movements in overseas markets suggest that the U.S. election is expected to have significant global implications. The debate led the British FTSE 100 to rise by as much as U.S. stocks did. The same is true of many Asian markets, too... The currencies of Mexico and Canada — both of which are partners in NAFTA, which Trump has threatened to end or renegotiate — rose sharply, as did those of other nations with which the U.S. has free trade agreements... All told, these movements suggest that financial markets expect a generally healthier domestic and international economy under a President Clinton than under a President Trump."


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