In first 100 days, a reversal of fortune for Trump favorites on Wall Street

Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:02pm EDT
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By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A funny thing happened on Wall Street in Donald Trump's first 100 days in the White House: Shares of companies that got closest to the president lagged the market's march higher.

Meanwhile, stocks from sectors that have had less access, and have faced occasional bluster from Trump, such as media and technology, have hopped into the driver seat.

Banks, industrials and other companies expected to win from Trump's policies surged following his unexpected election victory in November. Valuations for many grew stretched.

But Wall Street's change in focus in recent months also reflects concerns among investors that Trump may struggle to enact deep tax cuts and stimulate economic growth as quickly as previously expected. Indeed, the economy grew just 0.7 percent on an annualized basis in the first quarter, the first of Trump's presidency, as consumer spending stalled.

Many of the industries Trump singled out for special attention, like coalminers, steelmakers and oil companies, face major market trends and commodity price fluctuations that he can do little to change.

Since Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, representatives from nearly 100 publicly-listed companies have visited the White House, with carmakers, healthcare companies, banks and industrials getting more face time than technology companies, retailers and media firms.

Shares of companies that have visited the White House since the inauguration have enjoyed a median increase of 3.7 percent, trailing the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index's gain of 5.5 percent.

But Trump's recent failure to push a healthcare overhaul through Congress, as well as other miscues, now have investors a little less sure he will be able to make good on his promises.   Continued...

A trader looks at a screen that charts the S&P 500 on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid