Will Donald Trump policies fuel stock market rally?

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped to its highest level ever Wednesday, topping 21,000 points for the first time.

The record high at the closing bell was seen by some as a bellwether of what might come under the Trump administration.

Investors poured money into stocks, seemingly reassured by the President Trump's more measured tone in his speech to Congress Tuesday night.

The S&P went up 1.4% to 2,395. The NASDAQ rose 1.4%, ending at 5,904. The Dow rose 1.5% to close at 21,114 Wednesday, continuing a one month gain of more than 1,000 points.

Still, economist Gary Schlossberg at Wells Capital Management in San Francisco says there's more to the picture.

"The economy and the stock market were recovering in the fall even before Trump's surprise election victory. It's just that the announcements, the policies, the anticipation of that just simply supercharged a rally that was already underway," said Schlossberg.

Schlossberg says overall, the economy's eight-year crawl out of the recession has been slow but steady, with manufacturing, housing and consumer spending holding up well.

Now come President Trump's business-friendly proposals such as tax cuts, increased spending on infrastructure, and a scaling back of government regulations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up almost 2,800 points since Donald Trump was elected U.S. president four months ago.

"When you (tout) lower corporate taxes, lower investor related taxes and lower regulation, that's just fuel for a tremendous rally," said Ken Winans, a writer, entrepreneur and investment manager.

"I don't think any of us think it's going to go straight up forever," he said. "At some point there's profit taking and some people will take some off the table."

A certain amount of unease remains over the impact of President Trump's actions.

Ashley Berkshire, who was visiting San Francisco from Little Rock, Arkansas, says she works in the health care industry.

"There's some tension. There's some uncertainty in that area and something that we're all kind of holding our breath on," Berkshire said.

There is also some concern that stock prices might rise too high.

"We're approaching dot-com like valuations in the market overall," Schlossberg said, "It does give an indication of just how stretched the market is, how much the market is anticipating better news down the road so if we don't get it, it leaves the market that much more vulnerable."

"It's kind of scary to see them at these levels right now. You just don't know if this is a temporary kind of thing," said Shaun Ong of Danville.

Bottom line for the individual investor, Schlossberg says it is time to review your retirement funds, because the sharp rise in stocks might have thrown your portfolio out of whack.

"You thought you had 60% of your portfolio in stocks and now its 70-75%," Schlossberg said, "You should be checking them a bit more frequently in this kind of market because things are moving so quickly."

The market could see more movement in the coming month, with speculation that the Federal Reserve might increase interest rates at its March meeting. Investors might also start selling off stocks to rebalance their portfolios or lock in some profits.

 

 

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