Investors hit pause button on ‘Trump Trades’
After massive moves across a plethora of asset classes, positions linked to the surprise victory of President-elect Donald Trump are starting to lose momentum, according to Bespoke Investment Group analysts, who ran a health-check on these so-called “Trump trades.
“An equal-weighted basket of infrastructure stocks (AECOM, Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., Fluor Corp., Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Martin Marietta Materials Inc., Vulcan Materials Co., and U.S. Steel Corp.) had been on a tear since the election, buoyed by Trump’s plans to make U.S. infrastructure “second to none.”
But the outperformance of these names relative to the S&P 500 has stalled over the last week.
The greenback has been crushing the competition, with the U.S. dollar spot index rattling off eight straight sessions of gains before its fall on Monday.
Smaller, more domestically-oriented stocks in the Russell 2000 index outperformed the S&P 500, as they benefit disproportionately from both the stronger greenback and a potential reduction in U.S. corporate tax rates.
The selloff in U.S. Treasuries and the steepening of the yield curve — perhaps the best gauge for traders’ expectations of the impact of Trump’s fiscal policies on the U.S. economy — also took a breather.
Biotech stocks may have come under siege had Hillary Clinton prevailed on Nov. 8, thanks to her stance on drug pricing. They’ve since gone on to trounce the stocks of health-care facilities, which benefited from more hospital spending under the Affordable Care Act — something the President-elect has questioned.
Whether this widespread pause on “Trump trades” represents a brief period of consolidation after a number of brisk, sizable moves, or marks a fundamental reevaluation of the rationale behind each position remains to be seen. Given the breadth of asset classes affected by the election, results will likely vary across the spectrum.
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