SELL on the rumour, buy on the news runs one version of a hoary stockmarket adage. And it certainly applied to last month’s presidential election. Before the poll, many investors were concerned about the risk that Donald Trump might become the 45th president. But as soon as the result was confirmed, they piled into shares. American equity mutual funds enjoyed four consecutive weeks of inflows, the longest streak since 2014, according to EPFR Global, a data provider.
One driver of the rally was Mr Trump’s planned fiscal stimulus. Investors believe this will lead to bigger deficits; hence the rise in bond yields since the election. But they also hope it will boost the American economy. That may explain why the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies, which tend to have a domestic focus, has outperformed the S&P 500 since the election (see chart). If this goes on, such stocks may become known as the Trumpettes.
Another factor was the planned cut in corporate-tax rates. The official American corporate income-tax rate is 35% (rising to 39% when state taxes are added). Standard & Poor’s, a ratings agency, reckons that…Continue reading