At this point, early in the Trump presidency, you might be sounding a cautious tone.
Where Things Are Now
If so you should know the S&P 500 is up 6.2% since the election and hasn’t fallen more than 1% since. None the less your fellow investors have increased their cash positions and otherwise hedged against potential volatility.
The reason Global fund managers increased their cash holdings to 5.1% of their portfolios in January, up from 4.8% in December is due to concerns about a possible coming U.S. trade war and devaluation of Chinese currency.
It’s A Waiting Game
All this, say investors and analysts, doesn’t mean the initial enthusiasm following the Trump victory has fizzled out. What it means is that the market has decided (wisely say some) to play a bit of a waiting game to see how President Trump unfolds his economic plan and how it works out for America.
In addition, taking something of a wait and see attitude allows for the general anxiety felt by many Americans and factors in the unpredictable nature of Trump and his policies. With each new tweet Wall Street wonders what’s next and the general uncertainty is not helpful.
Truth Or Dare?
Coverage of the White House and the president traditionally comes from the national press corps. That tradition is being challenged as the Trump White House appears to be launching an attack against the mainstream media.
Over the weekend White House press secretary, Sean Spicer and President Trump said things that the press says are patently untrue. Among them Trump said he had not waged battle against intelligence agencies and Spicer claimed Trump’s inauguration was the most attended in history. Neither statement could be supported and was contradicted by accounts and news reports.
Related: NETFLIX – IT’S A VISION THING
Optimism Versus Fear
The combination of an unreliable relationship between the White House and the press, along with uncertainty about the plans of the Trump administration have still left a surprising amount of optimism available, especially among companies in the S&P 500.
Those sounding positive notes have included senior executives at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MSC), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DALC), United Continental Holdings (NYSE:UALC) and others. On the more cautious side of the equation, Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSUC) CEO Patrick Ottensmeyer said, "Obviously the political and economic uncertainty is probably first and foremost on most of our minds, and the irony of us reporting earnings on the Inauguration Day of the 45th President is not entirely lost on us."
Still those Trump has publicly targeted like Ford Motor (NYSE:FC), General Motors (NYSE:GMC), Boeing Co (NYSE:BAD) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMTC) have no desire to rattle any cages. As Robert Pavlik at Boston Private Wealth said, "You don't want to step on a mine. So the best course of action is to be somewhat optimistic, positive but also somewhat noncommittal so you're not trapped one way or another."