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Stock Markets Remain Surprisingly Stable In Wake Of Trump Victory


One of the day's many surprises was the way stock markets in the U.S. and Europe responded to the election news. The Dow Industrial's gained 256 points, about 1.4 percent. The conventional wisdom had been that a Trump victory would bring a big sell-off in the markets. NPR's Yuki Noguchi explains why that didn't happen.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Andy Cross spent last night staring into various screens, tracking overnight gyrations in the markets as Hillary Clinton steadily lost ground to Republican Donald Trump.

ANDY CROSS: Every state he won and every electoral vote he seemed to gain, the markets, the futures and the European markets seemed to sell off more and more.

NOGUCHI: Cross is chief investment advisor at the Motley Fool. At one point, future trading on the Dow stocks was down well over 700 points.

CROSS: You know, I went to bed thinking that the Trump presidency was upon us and that the U.S. markets were going to be down 4 or 5 percent.

NOGUCHI: But then, surprise - come morning, investors seemed to have calmed. The Japanese stock markets fell 5 percent, but European markets closed up and by mid-morning, the Dow was staging a rally. Cross says Trump's acceptance speech in which he spoke of unity helped calm markets.

CROSS: As soon as he started talking, the markets started reacting more positively.

NOGUCHI: Putri Pascualy is a portfolio manager for PAAMCO, an asset management firm. She notes Trump's promises to repeal Obama's health care law sent hospital stocks down. Drug company stocks were up. But beyond that, she says no one really knows what a Trump presidency means for markets.

PUTRI PASCUALY: There's no clear indication about what the policies would be and therefore no clear implication of what the impact would be. However, the uncertainty about the outcome of the election itself, that who would win, is behind us.

NOGUCHI: A relief rally, in other words. Pascualy says it will take time to figure out what exactly a Trump administration means for companies.

PASCUALY: Over the next few days, I think we should anticipate the market that's schizophrenic as it tries to find a footing.

NOGUCHI: Yuki Noguchi, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Yuki Noguchi is a correspondent on the Science Desk based out of NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C. She started covering consumer health in the midst of the pandemic, reporting on everything from vaccination and racial inequities in access to health, to cancer care, obesity and mental health.
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