"Obama's re-election does not change the bigger economic or fiscal picture," Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a research note. "Over the next couple of years, the U.S. economy will remain saddled with an uncomfortably high unemployment rate and will struggle to grow by more than 2 percent a year."
The president has pledged to cut projected deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years. He says he'd do so in part by raising the tax on investment gains. He would also raise income tax rates for individuals who earn more than $200,000 and married couples who earn more than $250,000. And a minimum 30 percent tax would be imposed on incomes above $1 million.
Stock prices plunged Wednesday in the aftermath of the election. Investors appeared rattled by the impending U.S. tax increases and spending cuts and Europe's deepening recession.Over the long run, though, the stocks of construction and engineering companies might get a lift during Obama's second term. The president has said more spending on roads, bridges and public buildings will boost the economy. If Obama's victory helps Democrats gain seats in Congress, he'll have more support for such spending. Other categories of stock might stumble. Financial companies had hoped to weaken rules imposed after the 2008 financial crisis. Obama's victory may ensure that the rules will remain intact. Companies will have to keep spending to make sure they comply with them. Obama also wants to tax dividends at a higher rate. That could make financial stocks, which often pay high dividends, less appealing to investors. Defense stocks might suffer because Obama wants to limit the growth of military spending. And some energy companies may fall because some investors think his administration will tighten pollution regulations that affect energy extraction and coal-burning power plants.