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November 8, 2017 | If Hillary Had Won, the Dow Would Still Be Trading Above 23,000

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

A year after Trump defeated Hillary, the stock market has had its biggest post-election run-up since 1945, when FDR was re-elected to a short-lived fourth term. Of course, Trump had no more to do with the current rally than Roosevelt or his successor, Harry S Truman, did with the post-War surge in shares. The stock market will always move in broad cycles far bigger than mere presidencies and the vainglorious strivers who typically hold the office. As such, it is arguably just a matter of luck that some Presidents get to preside over relatively good economic times (i.e., Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan) while others, less fortunate, have occupied the White House during relatively hard times or downturns (i.e., George W. Bush and Richard Nixon).

Tax ‘Reform’? Yeah, Sure…

It is laughable that pundits, economists and the usual news-media hacks are attributing the stock market’s crazed ascent in part to the dim prospect of what passes for ‘tax reform’ on Capitol Hill.  We’ve already glimpsed enough of the process this time around to know that, in the end, it will amount to just another stinking heap of handouts to various interest groups, none of which is even remotely interested in a fairer, simpler or economically more efficient tax code.  Trump will grab as much credit as he can for the stock market’s unending rally, but only an imbecile could believe he caused it.  Indeed, there should be little doubt that if Hillary had been elected the Dow would still be trading above 23,000 — albeit for an entirely different set of imagined reasons, many of them as ridiculous as tax ‘reform’. Moreover, any economic benefits we might stand to gain over the long haul from the tax changes under consideration have probably already been exceeded tenfold by the rabid bull market’s dollar gains to date.

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November 8th, 2017

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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