Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trump Triumph Puzzles Pundits

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trump Triumph Puzzles Pundits

Article excerpt

The pundits who certified Hillary Clinton as the nation's first woman president and who foretold that the stock market would collapse the day after Donald Trump was elected have given prognosticating a bad name. Yet human nature can't fight the impulse to wonder what a Trump presidency will mean for the economy and financial markets.

Will Mr. Trump's threat to renegotiate trade agreements spawn a trade war and global recession?

What becomes of health care and drug prices if he makes good on his promise to repeal Obamacare?

Will he deliver on his vow to lower taxes and will that result in something other than the lackluster job and economic growth that his predecessors engineered?

What will Mr. Trump do when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's term is up in February 2018, and what impact will his decision have on monetary policy, which has a more immediate economic impact than fiscal policy?

No matter how much certainty investors seek to questions such as these, they're unlikely to get what they're wishing for - or what they expect.

"Take the expert's view with a grain of salt," said John Frankola of Vista Investment Management in Pittsburgh. "Don't make any quick decisions regarding your investments today. Let this play out."

Heed what long-term bull Brian Belski, chief investment strategist for BMO Capital Markets, had to say after Mr. Trump's election sent the Dow Industrials to a record closing high Wednesday: "The one thing the stock market can tell you is that you should not be surprised by any surprise today."

Federated Investors senior vice president Don Ellenberger believes the economy and financial markets will benefit if Mr. Trump can deliver on his campaign promises. They include lowering corporate and individual taxes; eliminating regulations; increasing infrastructure spending; and enabling U.S. companies to repatriate cash they hold overseas in order to avoid paying taxes on it.

The fact that Republicans maintained their hold on both houses of Congress means "Mr. Trump has the ability to get things done," Mr. Ellenberger said.

Mr. Frankola noted that financial and energy stocks - two industries that many expect will benefit under Mr. …

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