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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Strategist warns that markets are underestimating the risks of a Trump victory

In the midst of the regularly scheduled U.S. presidential elections, former President Donald Trump is back on the scene, causing waves in the financial market. With the possibility of a second Trump presidency on the horizon, experts predict that markets might soon turn tumultuous. Guillermo Felices, a principal and global investment strategist at PGIM, warns that the euphoria on Wall Street might soon come to an abrupt halt if Trump reclaims the White House.

Since last November, the markets have been on a remarkable rally, making record gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. The primary driver for the surge has been the anticipated rapid rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and the optimism surrounding the U.S. economy’s potential ‘soft landing’, bringing it back to the Fed’s 2% inflation target without causing a recession.

However, Felices cautions against being overly complacent about these developments. PGIM’s outlook is more conservative compared to the market consensus. According to Felices, a win by Trump poses risks for the economy, especially concerning fiscal expansion such as tax cuts, military spending hikes, and global geopolitical tensions.

The key concern is the potential impact on long-duration bond markets, which could experience a ‘duration tantrum’. If the U.S. economy remains robust and does not require additional fiscal stimulus, the bond market could react by getting nervous about debt sustainability and higher interest rates. This could lead to higher yields and a drop in risky assets.

Furthermore, it’s important to note the potential fiscal risks amid the growing U.S. government deficit. The deficit is expected to remain high in the coming years, casting doubts on the sustainability of further fiscal stimuli or tax cuts. Analysts believe that the market is underpricing the risk of a bond market repricing and the impact of ongoing fiscal risks.

As we look ahead to November’s presidential election, any prospects of Trump returning to office bring further economic uncertainty. His proposals for additional tax cuts and tariffs could significantly alter the macroeconomic environment and geopolitical landscape. This could result in an added level of unpredictability that might impact market valuations.

It’s increasingly clear that investors may have to brace for a tumultuous period ahead, with the potential for choppy performances in both risk assets and fixed incomes. The policy decisions of any future U.S. President will create sizable ripples in the increasingly interconnected global economy, and it’s essential for investors to consider these variables in their decision-making processes.

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