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Last month, Barron’s weighed in with a cover story stating that “investors need to put their emotions and partisanship aside and acknowledge what the polls are telling us: The next president probably will be Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
Of course, a narrowing in the polls in recent weeks may have led some to question the boldness of our “It’s Starting to Look Like Hillary’s World” cover.
But apparently, both Clinton and Donald Trump, her Republican rival, decided last night that they didn’t want to make a liar out of Barron’s.
Based on the reaction of the marketplace and the pundits, the night belonged to Hillary. The Democrat may have stopped Trump’s recent momentum, thanks to a measured, confident performance free of any coughing fits. Trump, on the other hand, struggled at times and seemed to let Clinton off the hook on a number of issues where the Democrat is vulnerable, including conflicts-of-interest related to her role with the Clinton Foundation.
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“For the financial markets, which hate uncertainty and are increasingly concerned by Trump’s strident and personal attacks on [Fed Chair] Janet Yellen, the so-so Trump performance last night probably reinforces Wall Street’s view that Clinton will win,” wrote Greg Valliere, the chief global strategist with Horizon Investments, in his Tuesday-morning memo to his institutional-investor clients. “There’s no great love for Clinton in the markets — which want to see pro-growth policies — but this race is a classic case of the devil you know versus the devil you don’t know.”
He added, “The markets can grudgingly live with her, since she would be checkmated by a conservative House.”
Shortly after the debate ended, Barron’s Randall Forsyth reported that both stock-index futures and the Mexican peso had gained ground. A Clinton victory generally has been viewed favorably by the U.S. stock market because of the Democrat’s predictable policies and moderate demeanor. And we all know how wild the Mexicans are about the prospect of a Trump victory.
The perception that Clinton gained ground in the presidential race continued to wash over markets Tuesday. In late trading Tuesday afternoon, the Standard and Poor’s 500 was up 0.60%, to 2159.
In addition to Valliere, a number of other Washington-based analysts who handicap politics for Wall Street concurred that Hillary has clearly emerged as the front-runner after a week or two of uncertainty.
“The biggest implication from last night is that Clinton seems to have alleviated any fears about her health and the race is moving back to the pre-September 11th levels,” wrote Dan Clifton, a Washington-based policy analyst with Strategas Research Partners. “For the past two weeks Clinton’s polling and probability of winning both fell as voters grappled with whether Clinton was fit to hold office following her health scare. But by the end of last night’s debate, Trump looked more tired than Clinton.”
Chris Krueger, a senior policy analyst with Cowen Group, wrote Tuesday that he believes that Clinton, who has a 2.4 percentage point edge in the race based on the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls, will get an additional bump because of her debate performance.
“Remember that Clinton (as a Democrat) has a heavy advantage in the Electoral College,” added Krueger. “It is impossible to see how Trump can get to 270 without Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and at least one major state that Romney lost (likely Pennsylvania or a combination like Colorado/Iowa/Nevada).”
The Washington Post reported an interesting factoid that should hearten supporters of Clinton.
The paper reported that Google searches for the phrase “registrarse para votar” — “register to vote,” in Spanish — hit an all-time high during Monday’s presidential debate, spiking to more than 100,000 searches.
“The term was Google’s third trending search in the United States at 10:30 p.m. Monday, preceded only by two phrases related to the Houston shooting,” wrote the Post. “According to Google, search volume was highest in the ever-important swing state of Florida, followed by New Jersey, New York, Texas and California.”
The polling this year suggests that Latinos in this country who can vote will favor Clinton over Trump, who has made critical comments about Mexicans and other Central American immigrants as part of his tough stand against illegal immigration.
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