Wall Street stock index futures saw minimal changes throughout Sunday’s second presidential debate, speculating that markets continue to feel that Democrat Hillary Clinton has an advantage in the November 8th election against Republican Donald Trump. The 90-minute debate got off to a gritty start when Clinton and Trump greeted each other without the traditional handshake.
It quickly turned into a bitter discussion of a 2005 video that surfaced on Friday in which Trump was heard using inappropriate language and discussing about groping women without consent. Investors added there was not enough in terms of policy substance in Sunday’s debate to change the market’s view of the direction of this presidential race.
“I don’t think it changed people’s opinions in the investing community that Clinton is more likely to win, as she was before the debate, certainly after Friday,” stated Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management.
In a video released this past Friday, Trump is heard talking on an open microphone in 2005 about groping women and attempting to seduce a married woman. The video was taped only months following Trump married his third wife, Melania.
“There is still time to go and more things that could happen, but financial advisors are probably starting to feel they need to think about a Clinton win in terms of an investment thesis for 2017,” Meckler added.
“The market declared tonight’s debate a draw and has no more clue after debate than before, at least not in watching the S&P futures. Once again the debate was great theater, but did not give the market any insight,” stated JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.
“Despite the night’s civil ending, it was hard to glean much information, as a good part of the debate was simply a name-calling fest.”
Strategists in a recent equity poll typically saw an election victory on Nov. 8 by Clinton as more optimistic for the stock market through the end of 2016, mainly because her positions -unlike Trump’s- are well documented.
Steven Englander, global head of G10 currency strategy at CitiFX, quoted: “Both Trump and Clinton supporters expected that emerging market currencies and U.S. equities would go down and the VIX .VIX would go up if Trump were to win and vice versa if Clinton wins,” he continued.
Trump has been acute of a U.S. trade deal with Mexico and Canada as well as other trade deals, and has pledged to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it.
The Mexican peso gained as much as 2 percent on Sunday and was last trading up 1.3 percent against the greenback. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1, which increased 6 points shortly after opening three hours before the debate started, advanced 5.25 points, or 0.24 percent.
“It’s a positive reaction (in stocks), and it’s very consistent with what the market has been discounting, which is that Clinton will win and that’s good news,” said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer of Hugh Johnson Advisors LLC, ahead of the debate.
“It’s also saying the House of Representatives will stay in the hands of the Republicans,” he stated.
U.S. stocks briefly increased after what looked like a win by Clinton in the first presidential debate last month.