Financial advisors are a conservative bunch, so we know that there has been some very anxious feelings over the last couple of weeks as would-be Democrat presidents have announced their intentions for big tax hikes. How about 70% top tax rates and major wealth taxes? Some, like Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer, have also recently posed putting restrictions on buybacks. With all this in mind, here is a list of stocks that would be most in trouble from the Democrat plans that are currently on the table. According to Barron’s, the most at risk are Citigroup, Whirlpool, American Airlines, Union Pacific, and Boeing, but Walmart and Harley-Davidson could also be exposed.
FINSUM: This list was rather simply done—the companies that had reduced headcount the most and also bought back shares. However, as we move towards the election, it is time to start considering the risks to different stocks.
The market had a relief rally right after the election results came in. Yesterday wasn’t so good. The big question on everyone’s mind is where the market is headed from here. Looking historically, the current political arrangement (split Congress, Republican presidency) is the worst for markets. The S&P 500 has had the lowest returns in the current political set up, though it has only occurred four times since 1900.
FINSUM: The market’s outlook for 2019 appears fairly bleak to flat for us. The main reason why is that there won’t be another major tax package, and the great earnings of this year will make 2019 comparisons look weak. Growth is also likely to slow.
Investors need to be aware that big political news may be released any minute. That may not sound like much of a statement these days, but Bloomberg is reporting that Robert Mueller may release the findings from his investigations very soon. Bloomberg says Mueller is under immense pressure to release the findings of his probe or cease his investigation. He is especially under pressure to release whether he has found evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia and whether the president did anything to obstruct justice.
FINSUM: It seems likely that these findings won’t be released until after the midterms, but you never know if a politically-motivated early release right before the election might occur.
Right now it does not seem like it has a high likelihood, but given the current direction of antipathy towards Trump, a sweep by Democrats in the midterm elections could happen. If it does (as opposed to the more likely option of Democrats only taking the House), the following sectors should do well, says Barron’s. These include: consumer staples, utilities, and real estate, all rate-sensitive sectors. The reason why is that Democrats are expected to push through a big infrastructure spending plan if they win, which would create deflation and keep rates pinned.
FINSUM: This is quite an insightful take on what might flourish if Democrats do have a breakthrough. It seems unlikely, but then again, it seemed unlikely Trump was going to win going into election night!
It would be an understatement to say that a lot is riding on the midterms. Control of Congress is at stake, and within it, the whole policy agenda of the country. The stakes are even higher because of how politically divided the country is. Many think the Democrats will take the house but lose the Senate, resulting in a split Congress. This puts many investors at ease because it could block some of the right’s more extreme impulses (such as those against free trade). However, there is reason to worry that Republicans might fare far worse. That reason is that Donald Trump is the most unpopular president ever in such a buoyant economy. According to one polling expert, “There’s a huge disconnect … The economy doesn’t seem to be dominating in a way that it often does in elections”.
FINSUM: Our worry for the Republicans is that Trump is making the midterms more about himself than the party, and given the high degree of disapproval, that approach could really end up costing Republicans in the midterms. Consider an all-blue Congress come November a considerable tail risk.