President Trump’s first 100 days are officially in the books.
The mainstream media is scrutinizing every political and economic statistic under the sun as they desperately try to grade Trump’s meaningless milestone. We haven’t seen this kind of round-number madness since the Dow first crossed 20,000 earlier this year.
Reporters are already citing changes in GDP and job growth in an attempt to measure the Trump effect. But it’s way too early to bring these slow-moving economic numbers into play. If you’re hell-bent on grading Trump after just a few months on the job, you’re going to have to follow his treasury secretary’s advice…
During the first few weeks of Trump’s presidency, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration would look to the stock market as a “report card” for how his economic policies are performing.
Steve knows what’s up. After spending decades at Goldman Sachs, he understands the stock market’s power. All that vampire squid blood running through his veins tells him only price pays.
Judging by the huge post-election rally we’ve witnessed, it’s no surprise the administration is patting itself on the back. If we’re following his official report card, Trump’s tenure gets an “A+” as the market defies the naysayers and blasts higher.
The S&P 500 is up almost 15% since Trump’s election. Since the inauguration, it’s up almost 6%. Even while factoring in Friday’s hiccup, the major averages are all perched just below their all-time highs.
A new month starts now. And stocks are already beginning to leak higher. The political news is rolling in so fast these days that we’re having trouble keeping up. Late last night, we caught word that a government shutdown was averted. A deal passed late Sunday to fund the federal government through September (with no money for a border wall).
The media is chalking that up as another Trump loss. According to your favorite morning rag, the president just can’t win. No wall. No Obamacare overhaul. A tax reform wish list instead of an actual plan. The list is getting longer.
None of these failures have phased investors so far. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that any investor who’s actually paying attention to the market is feeling giddy as stocks blast into uncharted territory.
Of course, markets can’t shoot straight up forever. Stocks will eventually deliver this friendly reminder to investors with some downside action. Unless Trump signs an executive order banning corrections, we’ll see more meaningful pullbacks before his term is up.
But that doesn’t change the fact that stocks are shooting higher right now. Some must-see earnings reports are hitting this wire this week, including Apple, Facebook, and Tesla. Big numbers from any of these companies could help propel the market even higher…
Your job as an investor couldn’t be more clear: Ignore the political noise and let the market do the talking. Our report card is how well our trades perform. Everything else is a distant second place.