President Trump completed his first 100 days in office on April 29. And while the progress on his agenda has been slow so far, stock market investors have plenty of reasons to be happy. Stocks continue to fly high despite rising policy uncertainty even though the strong momentum for “Trump trade” seen after the election has dissipated.
With improving corporate earnings and low interest rates, investors continue to believe that stocks could rise further. Let’s take a look at winners and losers in major areas of the market during Trump’s first 100 days in office. (Read: ETF Winners and Losers of April 2017)
Broad Market Indexes: The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq
The major broad market indexes ended the month of April near their all-time highs, thanks mainly to better-than-expected earnings. The tech heavy Nasdaq index crossed 6,000 with many tech titans surging to their record highs.
Looking at the performance over the past 100 days, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY - Free Report) has risen about 5.5% and the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA - Free Report) is up about 6%. This is on top of similar gains between the election and inauguration.
The PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ - Free Report) , which tracks the Nasdaq 100 index, is the biggest winner with gains exceeding 10% in the past 100 days.
Major Sectors: Winners & Losers
Healthcare and Technology are the best performers over the past 100 days, while energy is the worst. The SPDR Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK - Free Report) and the SPDR Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV - Free Report) are up about 9% and 8% respectively.
While improving earnings and repatriation tax holiday plans have led to the surge in tech stocks, healthcare stocks have managed to hold on to their gains despite policy uncertainty, thanks mainly to attractive valuations after last year’s underperformance. (Read: Technology ETFs Set to Rally on Q1 Earnings)
The SPDR Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU) has been an unexpected winner—up about 6%--thanks mainly to the surprising fall in rates. The SPDR Energy ETF (XLE) is the worst performer, down about 9%, mainly due the fall in oil prices.
After a surge late last year, financial stocks represented by the SPDR Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF - Free Report) , lost their shine this year on expectations that the Fed will be not able to raise rates as swiftly as earlier anticipated.
International Markets Outperforming
As the US stocks lost some momentum this year, after a strong rally post-election, international markets have been doing really well, thanks mainly to strong pick up in economic growth in many parts of the world.
The Vanguard MSCI EAFE ETF (VEA), which holds a diversified group of stocks from developed markets excluding US, is up about 7% and the iShares Emerging Markets ETF (EEM - Free Report) is up 10%, outpacing S&P 500’s 5% gain. (Read: How to trade “Sell in May and Go Away with ETFs)
Major Currencies: The US Dollar, Euro and Yen
While the US dollar had surged after the election in anticipation of strong economic growth and higher interest rates, the rally has petered out this year. Lackluster economic growth in the US, cautious tone from the US as well as Trump’s comments that the dollar was too strong, led to greenback’s underperformance against other major currencies.
During this period, the Japanese yen has appreciated thanks to rising geopolitical concerns. Improving Europe economy and receding political risks have led to euro’s gains.
The PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish Fund (UUP - Free Report) is down about 2.2%, while the Guggenheim CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY - Free Report) is up 2.5% and the Guggenheim CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE) is up 1.5%.
Safe Havens: Treasury Bonds and Gold
Bond bears will have to wait! The 35-year-old bond rally did not end after the election, as widely anticipated. Rising geopolitical risks, decline in interest rates and heavy bond purchases by other major central banks drove Treasury yields lower.
The IShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT - Free Report) is up about 2.5% and the SPDR Gold ETF (GLD - Free Report) is shining bright with a 5% gain as many investors piled into the safety of gold with rising geopolitical uncertainty.
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