Not only were the experts wrong in their predictions that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency, they were wrong about the immediate consequences of a Trump victory.
Dartmouth economics professor Eric Zitzewitz estimated, “if Clinton wins it [the stock market] should be up about 3 percent and if Trump wins, it should go down 7 percent. There’s no question in my mind that the markets have not priced in a Trump win,” he continued.
The financial industry predicted much of the same. British bank Barclays predicted the S&P 500 would lose 11-13 percent if Trump won, but would rise 2-3 percent if Hillary won. Citibank predicted a 5 percent dropoff under a Trump victory. J.P. Morgan predicted a 3 percent rise following a Hillary victory, compared to markets “falling further” if Trump won.
For a brief point in time, it seemed like they were right. As it became clear that Trump was going to win the election, the futures market quickly went into turmoil. Futures on the Dow Jones Index showed a 800-point loss as panic took hold.
But by the time the markets officially opened at 9:30 EST this morning, the major indices (Dow Jones, S&P 500, Nasdaq) had almost recovered all their losses. By the end of the day, all three major indices closed higher.
One of the three major indices in particular — the Dow — is on the verge of setting a record. As CNBC reported: U.S. stocks surged more than 1 percent Wednesday with financials and health care leading after Republican Donald Trump won the presidential election, defying market expectations for a Hillary Clinton win.
The day’s rally took the major averages within 2 percent of their all-time intraday highs, and marked a stunning recovery from a sharp plunge in stock index futures overnight. Trade volume Wednesday was roughly 12 billion shares, the highest since the surprise U.K. vote to leave the European Union in June.
“Overnight was all about uncertainty. Today we know” the result,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade. He said part of the day’s rally was fueled by short covering, and that volatility will likely continue as traders eye Trump’s potential Cabinet picks.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up more than 250 points at 18,589, with Goldman Sachs and Caterpillar contributing the most to gains.
With about half an hour to the close, the Dow briefly added more than 300 points and was tracking to close at a record high. The index came within about 25 points of its all-time intraday high of 18,668.44 touched in August and closed within half a percent of that level.
Once again, Chicken Little was wrong.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]