President Donald Trump urged a boycott of Goodyear Tire (GT) - Get Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Report Wednesday, complaining that the Ohio-based manufacturer doesn’t allow employees to wear hats bearing political slogans such as the red baseball caps bearing his “MAGA” message.
Shares of the company fell 23 cents, or 2.36%, to end at $9.50, its worst performance since a 2.7% decline on Monday.
Trump’s calls for corporate boycotts, sometimes overt, sometimes implied, have seen mixed results over the years.
In one of his earliest as a presidential candidate, he repeatedly attacked Macy’s (M) - Get Macy's Inc Report in July 2015 for its decision to stop carrying Trump branded products because of his attacks on Mexico.
Macy’s shares began a multiyear decline that summer that has seen the stock lose 90% of its value. While Trump would likely claim all the credit, other factors, such as the surge of online retail and the decline of malls and department stores probably played a role as well.
In February of 2016, Trump called for a boycott of Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report products over the company’s refusal to unlock an iPhone linked to a suspect in a terrorist shooting in Southern California. The FBI eventually cracked the phone without Apple’s help.
Boycotting Apple products may or may not have been wise, but choosing to avoid the stock because of Trump's threats would have foolish in the extreme. Apple shares have risen more than 380% since then, becoming the first company to top $2 trillion in market cap on Wednesday.
In Sept. 2018, Trump sharply criticized Nike Inc. (NKE) - Get NIKE, Inc. (NKE) Report for signing former NFL quarterback Collin Kaepernick to an advertising campaign. Kaepernick became famous for taking a knee during the national anthem before games to protest police violence against African Americans. He was subsequently unable to win a contract to play for any NFL team.
Nike stock is up 33% since then.
Trump turned his attention to AT&T (T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report in June 2019, suggesting that boycotting its products and services could force changes at its CNN unit, a perennial target of Trump’s ire. Shares of the telecom giant are off a little over 4% in the 14 months since.
In May of this year, Trump grew irate over Twitter’s (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report decision to fact-check his false claims about mail-in voting fraud. Trump threatened governmental action against it and other social media companies he perceived as unfriendly to him. Shares of Twitter are up a little over 11% in the three months since.
As with all other things in investing, letting your emotions -- or politics -- affect your decisions can be problematic. The takeaway in this case would appear to be that the best thing to do when Trump attacks is to simply ignore him.
After all, the presidential limousine rides on Goodyear tires.