Big change in the land’s highest office can mean big changes in the economy. In general, promises are broken or only half kept. Still, we get clues on which areas of the economy will be favored, and which will not. Health care got a boost under President Obama, and defense did well under George W. Bush. With any politician running for office it’s hard to know exactly how things will turn out if they’re elected. What if Donald Trump were to become the next U.S. President, which sectors would benefit then? Here’s what some experts had to say on the matter:
Military strength has long been the Republican party mantra. Trump might be even more aggressive.
“In terms of going after terrorists from the air, you’d see an expansion of that,” says Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group. Compared to Obama, Trump is not risk averse and is much more likely to take action that is “narrowly unilateral and doing it without an awful lot of discussion.”
Who wins? High-tech defense and aerospace manufacturers like Lockheed Martin LMT-1.47%, Raytheon RTN-0.73%, Boeing BA-0.56%and Northrop Grumman NOC-0.39%.
It should be clear to anyone with a car that the nation’s roads need an upgrade. And Trump has said he would like to do something about it. In a debate in December, Trump said the nation would benefit from spending billions fixing roads, bridges, airports.
“Mr. Trump is Mr. infrastructure,” says Peter Tanous, chairman of Washington D.C.-based Lynx Investment Advisory. “He has more experience building than any president in history.”
On top of that, Trump’s biggest campaign promise—building a 50-foot wall on the boarder of Mexico—would be a huge infrastructure project. Estimates range from $15 billion to $25 billion to build the wall, which would have to stretch some 2,000 miles to cover the entire board. Maintenance could run another $750 million annually.
Tanous points to Jacobs Engineering JEC-0.89% as a likely benefactor of such a makeover. Likewise, the Fluor FLR-0.07%, which competes with Jacobs, will pick up business. As with all things that involve earth moving Caterpillar CAT2.19% should benefit as well.
Small stocks over large
“He has a fairly protectionist message,” says Jason Pride, director of investment strategy. Protectionism, whether it be through tariffs or quotas on imported goods will be bad for multinationals because they are directly involved in international trade.
Smaller companies, particularly those that predominantly operate in the United States, will be dramatically less affected. As a result small cap stocks should outperform the shares of large companies. A good investment then could be Vanguard’s Russell 2000 ETF, which tracks 2000 small-cap and mid-sized companies.
Still, Pride warns, because Trump is an outsider to the globalization establishment there will likely be a lot of uncertainty about how things will turn out if he becomes president. Already, Trump has back peddled on getting rid of a visa program for skilled workers. So look for some softening on his stance against free trade as well.
A protectionist policy to trade combined with a crack down on illegal immigration could have an interesting impact.
First, if companies started to manufacture in the U.S. again then we would likely see wages for skilled factory workers jump.
More and better wages for workers would likely benefit those industries not affected too much by international trade, like restaurants. That’s something that could benefit the dining business, says Peter Morici, professor of economics at the University of Maryland University School of Business.
That said, the back bone of the food service industry depends on at least some illegal labor. If the “mass deportation” ever materialized, which is doubtful, then wages and other costs in the restaurant business could rise as well.
Still, there could be a case for investing in primarily domestic chains, particularly those with clients that are less price sensitive if the restaurant industry does have to shell out more money for workers.Take a look at Del Frisco’s Restaurant DFRG-1.12%, and primarily domestic Ruth’s Hospitality RUTH0.00%, which owns Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
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The Federal Reserve is not raising interest rates, but now there are hints by Fed Head Janet Yellen that it might consider negative interest rates if the economy gets bad enough. The economy is already bad, and the Fed decision to keep a key rate near 0% says it all. I have been telling you for a couple of years that there is no real recovery on Main Street. The only real recovery is on Wall Street. Data point after data point shows the economy is not good. This is why the Fed is not raising interest rates.
On top of that bad news, people like Nobel Prize winning economist Professor Robert Shiller continue to warn that the stock market looks like it is in a bubble. There are also reports of the biggest double top in stock market history that was recently made, and when that happens, it is downhill for the markets. This includes the global debt market that dwarfs the stock market by orders of magnitude. I just interviewed former Reagan White House Budget Director David Stockman, and he says the “financial system is booby trapped with debt bombs.” This is not if the bond market will blow up, but only a matter of when the bond market will blow up.
CNN was the only real loser in the second GOP debate. The debate started out looking like CNN just wanted the candidates to trash Trump. It looked juvenile and petty, and even NJ Governor Chris Christie called BS on the BS when he directed the discussion back to how the GOP was going to help the struggling middle class. Trump won the debate by virtue of the fact CNN centered it on him and tried to get the other candidates to tear him down. Sure, there were candidates that had their moments, and some will move up and down in the polls, but Trump still emerges as the front-runner. Let’s make this perfectly clear, Donald trump could win it all.
Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up. usawatchdog.com