Remember how former President Barack Obama spooked a crowd back in 2016 that Donald Trump would need a “magic wand” to bring lost jobs and manufacturing back to the United States? Obama must be kicking himself for making fun of Trump because the people might now think that the billionaire could possess a magic wand after all.
Not only has President Trump brought lost jobs and manufacturing back to American soil less than a week after his inauguration, the stock market didn’t collapse as predicted by battalions of analysts, economists, specialists, billionaires and whatnot. Instead, the Dow Jones has marched and crossed the psychological milestone of 20,000.
Essentially, this is the first time Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has ever crossed the 20,000 since the birth of the index in May 26, 1896, when Charles Henry Dow introduced it in New York about 120 years ago. If there’s one person to blame for the booming stock market, that person is none other than the new dealmaker-in-chief Donald Trump.
“People are seeing that Trump administration is carrying through with some of the things he promised,” said John Stadtler, head of U.S. Financial Services Industry Practice at PwC. Even after Trump won the presidential election, people were still unconvinced that Trump would dare carry through his campaign pledges. They had believed Trump was another empty vessel billionaire.
On Tuesday, President Trump signed executive orders that will make it easier for TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline and for Energy Transfer Partners to build the final uncompleted portion of the Dakota Access pipeline. Those executive orders alone helped lift the materials sector to a 2.5% gain Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Trump rolled out two more executive orders on immigration, including one on border security and the intent to build a wall along the U.S. southern border, and another strengthening the enforcement of immigration laws. “Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders, gets back its borders.” – declared the U.S. president.
The historic milestone leaves the Dow up more than 1,700 points since President Donald Trump’s victory in November. The achievement is evidence of how optimistic investors have become about the prospects for the U.S. economy under Trump administration. “The stock market has given him this extraordinary vote of approval. Happy days are here again,” said Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research.
However, Trump haters, including mainstream media are playing down the roles played by the president. They argued that Trump was merely lucky for inheriting a solid economy from former President Obama. Regardless, very few expected the Dow to rise so much. In fact, many feared a stock market crash if Donald Trump defeats Hillary Clinton.
Like it or not, since President Trump was elected, the stock market has gained a mind-boggling US$2.2 trillion in wealth, something that you don’t expect Trump haters and mainstream media to report. What Trump critics dare not to bet now is whether the 20,000 mark is the beginning of a Super Bull Run in the U.S. stock market.
The rally has also been called the “Trump Bump,” as most of the run higher has occurred since Mr. Trump was elected president on Nov. 8. Investors have been bidding up stocks on the belief that he’ll ramp up infrastructure spending, cut corporate taxes, deregulate industries and give the economy a boost. And so far, the new president is delivering what are expected from him.
As a yardstick, it took 483 trading sessions to rise from 18,000 to 19,000. But in the case of 19,000 to 20,000, the DJIA took merely 42 sessions (or 64 calendar days) to achieve it. That’s the second fastest thousand-point sprint, with the climb from 10,000 to 11,000 back in 1999 being the fastest when it took 35 calendar days.
And there’s little doubt the Trump Effect was the reason behind the optimism on the financial markets. Unfortunately, nearly half of Americans have not benefited from the so-called “Trump Rally” simply because only 52% of Americans polled by Gallup last April said they “have money invested in stocks”.
However, given that the Dow’s latest surge (to 20,000) has been driven mainly by hopes that Trump’s plans to lower corporate taxes, reduce regulations on businesses and spend billions on infrastructure will be enacted and juice the economy, some Wall Street experts are urging caution, given that the stock market is no longer cheap.