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Wall Street Scans for Potential Volatility After Trump Verdict

Wall Street Scans for Potential Volatility After Trump Verdict
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, on Thursday, May 16, 2024. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eclipsed 40,000 for the first time on Thursday as investors grow confident that the stock market rally can keep running on hopes the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates later this year. Photographer: Alex Kent/Bloomberg

The impact of former President Donald Trump’s historic guilty verdict has yet to set in on Wall Street. 

From round-the-clock currencies to after-hours equity trading, most financial assets — aside from shares in Trump Media & Technology Group — were largely stable after a New York jury found Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts.

But for traders, the question now is how the decision will impact markets that are already starting to prepare for the 2024 US elections — in which Trump is all but certain to face off with President Joe Biden.

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“The stock market has a history of tuning out domestic political turmoil,” said Ed Yardeni, founder of Yardeni Research. “However, the political climate is clearly going to be even more volatile after the Trump verdict, which could increase volatility in the stock market.”

Here’s what others on Wall Street are saying:

Helen Given, a foreign-exchange trader at Monex

  • “This doesn’t change that much in respect to foreign exchange at the moment. What we now have to look for is the sentencing in July.”

Amarjit Sahota, executive director at Klarity FX

  • “There’s still a lot of uncertainty here on what this means for his campaign. We need to know what sentencing risk looks like to know what sort of impact there will be.”

Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak & Co.

  • “It’s hard to know how much immediate impact it will have. This does not necessarily mean that Trump’s chances of winning in November have gone down.”

Paresh Upadhyaya, director of fixed income and currency strategy at Amundi, US

  • “The market reaction is likely to be muted. I think market expectations for a guilty verdict were somewhat priced into markets. The bigger impact to markets could be if this guilty verdict begins to turn the momentum away from Trump to Biden. Even then, I think market attention won’t really focus on the election until after Labor Day.”

Adam Phillips, managing director of investments at EP Wealth Advisors

  • “I’m sure many are holding their breath and anxiously awaiting to see how markets react tomorrow. Unfortunately, we do not have a historical analog to draw upon here but we know that tensions are running high and are prepared for some pressure across risk assets. Ultimately, we believe any weakness related to these events will be short-lived, and advise investors to remain focused on the drivers of long-run returns such as earnings growth and the broad economic outlook.”

Kyle Chapman, FX Markets Analyst at Ballinger Group

  • “As far as I can tell the most likely outcome is a fine and it’s probably unlikely that it hurts his chances of being re-elected. We’ll have to see how the polls react to the verdict.” A potential “Trump presidency would likely be dollar positive because of the geopolitical tension and trade wars he’d bring with him. So if his chances are hurt that would be consequential down the line.”

Rodrigo Catril, strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd.

  • The outcome doesn’t change the picture that this still looks like a very close election (at the margin, now the election outcome looks even harder to call) and given the divergence of policy proposals, it means a great deal of uncertainty. Thus I think is fair to suggest we need to prepare for some fireworks, heightened uncertainty tends to come with an increase in volatility. In these scenarios, the dollar’s safe haven appeal is likely to increase the demand for the greenback, even though the US is the epicentre of the risk aversion.

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