Sources: Equity Market and Fixed Income returns are from JP Morgan as of 11/04/16. REIT, Rates and Economic Calendar Data from Bloomberg as of 11/07/16. Earnings statistics are taken from FactSet as of 11/04/16.
If there is one thing that markets typically don’t like, it is uncertainty. Both good and bad news can be accounted for in many trading strategies but uncertainty creates a paranoia that forces many investors to hold large cash positions and ultimately can result in a drag on future returns. Uncertainty is also the reason why when Tuesday night’s election looked as though it was headed for a contested result, or even an unprecedented Electoral College tie, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded over 700 points lower and S&P 500 Index futures hit a circuit breaker that prevented trades below the 5% mark. Following President Elect Donald Trump’s victory speech, the tone of which was more conciliatory and unifying than most of his campaign rhetoric, futures markets paired losses and as of Wednesday morning were actually trading higher.
It appears, at this time, the reason for any selloff may not so much be due to the potential policies he is likely to pursue but rather the belief by many prior to Election Day that Hillary Clinton was likely to win along with the uncertainty about what exactly his policies will be and how successful he may be in implementing them. Hillary Clinton was believed to be a known commodity to stock market participants based upon her previous political experience and certain stated positions while Donald Trump was viewed as more of an unknown commodity with no previous political experience, though having certain stated positions of his own. It is also important to consider that the day after an election is typically a “down day.” Since 1928, the market has sold off the day following the election 68% of the time, including a 2.4% drop in 2012 and a 5.3% fall in 2008 as measured by the S&P 500 Index.
Once the dust settles from this historic election, investors would be wise, in our view, to refocus their attention to what is shaping up as a stable economic back drop. With 85% of companies in the S&P 500 having reported Q3 2016 results, earnings appear on pace to post a 2.7% gain – the first quarterly gain in earnings since the first quarter of 2015. Last week’s jobs report continued to show a strengthening labor market with 161,000 gains, wage growth beating estimates by ticking up 0.4%, and the U3 unemployment rate dropping to 4.9%. Manufacturing both in the U.S. and globally has also improved with the global PMI (Purchasing Managers Manufacturing Index) reaching its highest level since October 2014.
One positive takeaway from last night’s election, politics aside and purely from an equity market standpoint was Republican’s control of both congress and the white house, a combination that has historically coincided with attractive stock market returns. Volatile markets are likely to persist until there is more clarity as to who President Elect Trump will appoint to his cabinet and what policies he is going to focus on during his first 100 days. This highlights a point that we have continued to stress with investors in terms of being comfortable with and confident in both their risk tolerance and their time horizon. Far too often investors are willing to take more risk and claim a “long term” time horizon when markets are advancing but shift to a more conservative sentiment when markets are declining. We believe that one of the best ways to maintain discipline is by completing a financial plan that focuses on the long term investment goals needed to meet your specific financial objectives.
Important Information and Disclaimers
Disclosures: Hennion & Walsh is the sponsor of SmartTrust® Unit Investment Trusts (UITs). For more information on SmartTrust® UITs, please visit www.smarttrustuit.com. The overview above is for informational purposes and is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any SmartTrust® UITs. Investors should consider the Trust’s investment objective, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information relevant to an investment in the Trust and investors should read the prospectus carefully before they invest.
Investing in foreign securities presents certain risks not associated with domestic investments, such as currency fluctuation, political and economic instability, and different accounting standards. This may result in greater share price volatility. These risks are heightened in emerging markets.
There are special risks associated with an investment in real estate, including credit risk, interest rate fluctuations and the impact of varied economic conditions. Distributions from REIT investments are taxed at the owner’s tax bracket.
The prices of small company and mid cap stocks are generally more volatile than large company stocks. They often involve higher risks because smaller companies may lack the management expertise, financial resources, product diversification and competitive strengths to endure adverse economic conditions.
Investing in commodities is not suitable for all investors. Exposure to the commodities markets may subject an investment to greater share price volatility than an investment in traditional equity or debt securities. Investments in commodities may be affected by changes in overall market movements, commodity index volatility, changes in interest rates or factors affecting a particular industry or commodity.
Products that invest in commodities may employ more complex strategies which may expose investors to additional risks.
Investing in fixed income securities involves certain risks such as market risk if sold prior to maturity and credit risk especially if investing in high yield bonds, which have lower ratings and are subject to greater volatility. All fixed income investments may be worth less than original cost upon redemption or maturity. Bond Prices fluctuate inversely to changes in interest rates. Therefore, a general rise in interest rates can result in the decline of the value of your investment.
MSCI- EAFE: The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australasia and Far East Index, a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure developed-market equity performance, excluding the United States and Canada.
MSCI-Emerging Markets: The Morgan Stanley Capital International Emerging Market Index, is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the performance of global emerging markets of about 25 emerging economies.
Russell 3000: The Russell 3000 measures the performance of the 3000 largest US companies based on total market capitalization and represents about 98% of the investible US Equity market.
ML BOFA US Corp Mstr [Merill Lynch US Corporate Master]: The Merrill Lynch Corporate Master Market Index is a statistical composite tracking the performance of the entire US corporate bond market over time.
ML Muni Master [Merill Lynch US Corporate Master]: The Merrill Lynch Municipal Bond Master Index is a broad measure of the municipal fixed income market.
Investors cannot directly purchase any index.
LIBOR, London Interbank Offered Rate, is the rate of interest at which banks offer to lend money to one another in the wholesale money markets in London.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unweighted index of 30 “blue-chip” industrial U.S. stocks.
The S&P Midcap 400 Index is a capitalization-weighted index measuring the performance of the mid-range sector of the U.S. stock market, and represents approximately 7% of the total market value of U.S. equities. Companies in the Index fall between S&P 500 Index and the S&P SmallCap 600 Index in size: between $1-4 billion.
DJ Equity REIT Index represents all publicly traded real estate investment trusts in the Dow Jones U.S. stock universe classified as Equity REITs according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices REIT Industry Classification Hierarchy. These companies are REITSs that primarily own and operate income-producing real estate.