U.S. stocks are in the midst of the second-longest bull market in history, and bonds have flourished as interest rates have hit historic lows. Yet year one of new presidencies often usher in challenging markets. Your retirement security is on the line.
Trump would cut the top corporate tax rate to 15% from 35%. He would also help wealthy investors by eliminating the 3.8% Obamacare surcharge on investment income, including capital gains and dividends, currently owed by couples earning more than $250,000 and singles making more than $200,000.
Like other Republicans, Trump has made helping the defense and fossil-fuel industries a priority. But tempering those pro-business stances are his proposals to deport immigrants and impose new tariffs.
Trump opposes reappointing Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen when her term expires in early 2018. He accused her of holding interest rates down to temporarily boost the economy and help the Democrats. (She denies this.) The market likes low rates, and Yellen wants to raise them only gradually.
Clinton’s campaign hasn’t addressed corporate tax rates, though she wants to make it harder for companies to cut taxes by relocating overseas, which could take a bite out of corporate profits. (Trump sides with her on this issue.) For investors, she would keep capital gains rates the same but lengthen the required holding period to realize preferential long-term rates (20% for wealthy investors) from one year to six.
The idea is to promote long-term thinking among investors and executives in hopes they will then invest for the future. “America’s business needs to break free from the tyranny of today’s earnings report,” she said in July.
Clinton has not commented on Yellen. But Wall Street sees her as much more likely to keep the Fed chief on. “We expect Clinton to opt for continuity at the central bank,” wrote Merrill Lynch economists.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU
Wall Street analysts worry that Trump would ignite a ruinous trade war, prompting other countries to erect tariff barriers. Companies with international ties, like banks, automakers, and farmers, would be hurt the most, a Wells Fargo report contends. In general, U.S.-based multinationals are worried. Meanwhile, his immigration policies pose a big risk for agricultural and construction companies that rely heavily on manual labor, says Moody’s.
From the Fed to taxes to trade, Wall Street sees Clinton as a much safer candidate. Her “overall market impact may be neutral,” Wells Fargo is telling clients. Its analysts see Trump as more volatile and risky.
Want to know what the candidates have said about pocketbook issues? Read: