Stocks hit record highs on Monday and notched their fourth straight gain as a so-called phase one trade deal between China and the U.S. clears the path higher for Wall Street to end a banner year.
In fact, with the closing rally on Monday, The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 28,332.74 on meaning it has gained 10,000 points — or more than 54 percent — since Donald Trump’s election victory on November 8, 2016. The benchmark S&P 500 has gained more than 46 percent.
Cry “impeachment” all you want, but the stock market has been unstoppable under the influence of President Trump. And, experts predict that 2020 is poised for an unprecedented “melt up,” in the markets.
According to strategists at one Wall Street bank, with these kinds of huge gains, the stock market is spring-loaded for a big start to 2020. The market is “primed for Q1’2020 risk asset melt-up,” Bank of America strategists Michael Hartnett and Tommy Ricketts wrote in a Dec. 12 note, pointing to receding risks from the trade war and Brexit.
The strategists expect “returns to be front-loaded in 2020” with the S&P 500 surging more than 5 percent to 3,333 by March 3 and the yield on the 10-year note climbing by 35 basis points to 2.2 percent by Feb. 2.
They point to the bank’s recent Global Fund Manager Survey, which showed cash levels of less than 4 percent, strong global growth and profit expectations, and, an elimination of tail risk from the trade war, as confirmation of outright bullishness.
A strong start to the year would be a repeat of 2019. Last year, the benchmark S&P 500 rallied 11.8 percent through March 1, recouping all of the losses that occurred during its worst December since the Great Depression.
Bank of America’s call goes against the grain of what typically happens in an election year. The Wells Fargo Investment Institute found U.S. equity prices are typically flat in the first six months of an election year before clarity on the winner drives action during the second half.
“The difference has tended to be stark, depending upon whether the incumbent party seems likely to ‘keep’ the White House,” the institute wrote.
They say the stock market is “stronger than average” when the incumbent wins but stumbles in the second half if the challenging party takes the White House.
So, if you like these kinds of gains, and want to see a strong and strengthening economy moving forward, there is only one clear choice for 2020 – Donald J. Trump.