Instead of a Brexit market reaction last week investors appeared to position for the impact a Trump presidency could have on the U.S. economy and asset markets. There is a limit to how much any administration can accomplish during the first couple of years but investors appear to be favoring some asset classes while avoiding others.
One of the most welcome surprises was the terrific performance of small cap stocks, up 2-3% on Wednesday, outperforming all the other broad U.S. stock indexes. For the week the Russell 2000 (IWM) was up 10%. The potential for a reduced regulatory burden appears to have given this group of companies a big boost.
International stocks, on the other hand, did not fare well last week based on potential changes to international trade. It does not sound like this is going to be an initial focus other than trying to bring trillions is cash from U.S. companies being held abroad. International developed market stocks (EFA) ended the week up just under 1% while emerging market stocks (EEM) took a hit, down -4%.
In addition to the stock market sending a positive message about future economic growth, the sentiment was echoed in the Bond market. A December rate hike was already priced in U.S. Aggregate Bonds (AGG), down just over 1% since highs this summer. They fell an additional 1% following election results. An expected fiscal stimulus package is likely the culprit sending bond prices lower. 10yr Treasury yields (IEF) have moved back above 2% and look headed higher.
Industry group rallies were also evident last week. One of the more promising may be the move in Community (QABA) and Regional Banks (KRE) both up about 15%. One of the biggest moves was in Biotech (XBI), up over 20%. Metals and Minerals (XME) had a big move as well, up nearly 11% on potential infrastructure spending. Retail (XRT) was also up over 8%.
In other asset classes, gold (GLD) was hammered indicating the rise in yields is based on rate normalization and not inflation. Gold has rallied strongly this year and remains above intermediate term support around $1,200 an OZ.
In currencies the U.S. Dollar (UUP) was a big winner, up 2% for the week. Interestingly, the British Pound (FXB) rallied in tandem with the dollar last week but is down significantly since Brexit. The Yen (FXY) and Euro (FXE) turned in losses for the week.
There are many remaining issues that could derail what looks like a market expecting positive developments from a Trump administration. With a considerable amount of capital on the sidelines investors can expect more money to come back into the market and push some investments still higher. Given the pre-election concern about a Trump victory, the market vote of confidence last week was a great way to get started.