Trump Optimism Propels Dow to Best Week in Five Years


A whipsaw week powered by election uncertainty for markets ended on a high note as the Dow notched a fresh record high and its best five-day period since 2011.

On Friday, equities took a bit of a breather from a two-day stretch of solid gains fueled by Donald Trump’s surprise victory on election night and the perception of a pro-business president taking over the White House. As evidence of the calm that settled over stocks, the Dow crossed the unchanged line more than 150 times during the session.

By the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37 points or 0.20% to 18845, and leaping more than 5% for the week. The broader S&P 500 finished down by three points,  but not before tacking on weekly gains of 3.79%.

Weighing on momentum was a drop in energy shares, which sank 2% during the trading day as oil prices fell more than 3% in reaction to data from OPEC showing output reached another record. The figures fueled worries about the viability of a potential plan to limit production aimed at easing global oversupply.

Performance on the tech-heavy Nasdaq reversed from the prior session in which shares saw significant declines as traders worried how Trump’s plans for stricter immigration controls and more American nationalism would dent the nation’s globalized technology firms. The Nasdaq capped the session up 28 points or 0.54%, gaining 3.78% for the week.

The market’s election momentum helped the major averages substantially advance their gains year to date: The Dow has risen 8% since the start of 2016, while the S&P has added 5.6% and the Nasdaq is up 4%.  Meanwhile, financials also got a big boost from the post-election momentum. The sector jumped more than  11% for the week after headlines hit the tape about Trump’s preliminary plans to dismantle Dodd-Frank legislation enacted in the aftermath of the financial crisis, which was viewed as a positive for banks and other Wall Street financial institutions.

The industrials and health care sectors also notched big weekly gains of 7.9% and 5.82% respectively, while utilities and consumer staples shed 4.3% and 2.5% over the week.

Despite expectations for a sharp negative reaction following a Donald Trump victory, the markets have taken the win in stride, said economists from Goldman Sachs in a note Friday.

“For the moment, investors appear to see the prospects of tax reform and fiscal stimulus as the most important result of Mr. Trump’s victory. Much is still unknown, however, and the initial reactions could evolve as the new administration’s policy proposals and appointments take shape,” the note said.

Still, the outcome has resulted in a dive into risk assets, which has buoyed stock prices and sent traditionally safe-have assets like gold, sharply lower. The Election-Day results also sparked a steep selloff in government debt, which sent Treasury yields higher.

While the bond market was closed on Friday in observance of the Veteran’s Day holiday, four trading days this week was enough to send the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield to its biggest one-week gain in three years as it rose to 2.118%. The yields, which move inversely to prices, on other government bonds, also moved higher with the two-year yield reaching 0.906% and the 30-year climbing to 2.928%.

The shift in bond prices, which Goldman’s economists say is the “most impressive” change in post-election trade, is suggestive that investors expect fiscal stimulus enacted by President-elect Trump would help boost inflation -- a move that would send bond yields even lower.