Trump bump slows as Wall Street awaits detailshttp://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2017/02/19/stocks-trump-po
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk during the Inauguration Day Parade Route in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)(Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)CONNECTTWEETLINKEDIN 1 COMMENTEMAILMORE
There's a lot of controversies surrounding statements made by President Trump, but when it comes to the stock market, one fact is indisputable: Stocks have been rising since his election.
"The stock market has hit record numbers, as you know," Trump said Thursday in opening statements to reporters during a press conference.
Indeed, the market rally that began when Trump was elected has continued into the opening days of his administration, but the pace of gains is slowing. And, investors say, the economy deserves just as much credit for the surge as the new commander in chief.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, which closed at a record 2351.16 Friday, has gained 3.52% since Inauguration Day. And while that ranks fifth-best in 30-days after Inaugurations since 1929 and is better than the average 0.44% loss a month after Inauguration Day, it pales compared to the nearly 6% gain from Election Day to the day Trump took office on Jan. 20, data from Bespoke Investment Group show.
Trump, of course, has gotten much of the credit for the stock market’s continued push higher to record levels. And while it’s true that stocks have gotten an added lift from rising investor optimism surrounding Trump’s promises to cut corporate taxes and reduce business regulations, a growing number of Wall Street pros say the main driver of the rally has been the economy, which was already flashing signs of better health long before Trump’s surprise election win in November.
“It’s a combination of factors that’s driving the market higher,” says Thorne Perkin, president of Papamarkou Wellner Asset Management.
Now, the general feeling on Wall Street is that Trump must deliver on his promises if the stock market’s climb is to continue.
Working in the market’s favor, Perkin says, is a belief that things are getting better on both the economic and earnings front. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s upbeat comments this week on the state of the U.S. economy, data that show inflation is finally picking up, and the fact that U.S. consumers continue to spend are the latest signs of strength.
“The U.S. economy is rolling,” Perkin says. “People sense it, and the stock market is happily along for the ride.”
The other piece of the bullish puzzle is the prospect of an even better-performing economy in the days ahead if Trump’s economic blueprint is enacted.
“Potential policies from the Trump administration have created a heady brew for domestic stock markets,” says Wade Balliet, chief investment strategist at Bank of the West Wealth Management.
The key phrase, however, is potential policies. The risk, of course, is Trump won’t be able to push through his agenda. Or worse, some of the protectionist measures he favors offset the gains that his other policies, such as corporate tax breaks, would engender.
“The big challenge is expectations are rising,” says Balliet, noting that a Trump tax plan has yet to be rolled out and few details about an infrastructure plan have been released. “It takes time for fiscal policies, (such as tax cuts and spending plans) to be debated, approved and to impact the economy.”
Investors, adds Balliet, will be waiting to see if the hoped-for boost to economic growth materializes. If not, they will start to get wary of an increasingly expensive stock market.CONNECTTWEETLINKEDIN 1 COMMENTEMAILMORERead or Share this story: http://usat.ly/2ljsxkt