It seems as though the first thing on everyone's mind when thinking about January 2017 is the inauguration of Donald Trump and the effect his first few weeks in office have already made globally. Trump's 17 executive orders have stirred reactions which have lifted the Dow Jones Index past 20,000 for the first time, and have simultaneously launched more protests in two weeks than it seems possible to count. Where will this new source of volatility lead us, and what does the resulting unpredictability really mean for your portfolio?
2016 was a year shaped by surprises and drastic changes in sentiment. How investors feel about the economy is what’s reflected in prices. While major equity markets had a generally positive 2016 – driven by strong US economic data and improving conditions in Europe – there was a lot of global negativity for equities going into the year, fueled by China’s slowing economy, dropping oil prices, and geo-political uncertainty. Investors had more cash parked on the sidelines than ever before. However, major equity markets had a positive 2016 climbing the walls of worry, mainly driven by strong economic data out of the US (jobs, in particular) and improving economic conditions in Europe.
The morning after the election, investors were understandably uncertain. We sent the following note to our clients to address any concerns:
After the polls called for a 70-90% likelihood of a Clinton victory, the world is surprised, to say the least. Investors don't like surprises, and the uncertainty that a Trump presidency brings is a recipe for amplified volatility. The market's reaction yesterday morning reeled back from the immediate knee-jerk reaction, but it paves the way for further volatility in the coming months. There are a few key changes we think will influence global markets.
US federal elections are a week away and that means everyone’s favourite reality TV show is coming to an end. While the spotlight will shift away from American politics, we think US policy will still hold the attention of global markets. This month, we’ll take a look at the Canadian economic outlook, US election and interest rate decisions, and major global political threats.
This month, we take a look at how markets performed in Q3, and where they stand going into the final quarter of 2016.
Last month, the U.S. stock market extended a two-month rally into August and hit an all-time high. Optimism surrounding corporate earnings has converted more investors back into the "risk-on" camp, guiding assets into emerging markets and back into a post-Brexit Europe.