How Investors are Reacting to the Trump Administration
As we approach the end of the first hundred days of the new presidential administration, it’s worth recapping how the investment community is reacting to various changes. The first three months (or five, if you count from the date of the election) have witnessed a number of developments that have had major impacts on the markets, for good or ill.
At first, this surprise result was met with a surge of optimism on Wall Street, as equity investors pushed prices up on the hope that the incoming administration would give corporate profits a shot in the arm by repealing a significant number of regulations across several industries. In particular, Trump campaigned heavily on the promise of eliminating environmental protections in order to support coal producers. Other investors saw opportunities in the health sector, thanks to the president’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have potentially eliminated several rules affecting health insurance markets. The dollar climbed on investor optimism, while foreign currencies stalled due to the headwinds of negative geopolitical developments.
But the story had already changed considerably by late March. The administration’s failure to repeal the ACA combined with a steady drip of negative political headlines seemed to wear on investors’ patience, pushing markets back down once again. Many investors seem to have taken the early stock market surge as an opportunity to cash in their earnings and reduce their exposure to US businesses. The president’s decision to bomb Syria in April also seems to have spooked the markets, as investors try to predict possible long-term consequences of the attack.
While investors’ initial response to the unexpected news of a Trump administration was unexpectedly positive, the market has since confronted a number of unforeseen political developments. Investors seem to be anticipating heightened uncertainty in the future, and many are now searching for safe harbors to weather the storm.