Cue the opening strains of "The End" by The Doors.
The prospect of Donald Trump winning Tuesday's presidential election terrifies the financial community. For Wall Street, the bombastic billionaire is all four "Horsemen of the Apocalypse" rolled into one.
However, Hillary Clinton also is feared and loathed by a wide swath of investors. To be sure, she's the preferred candidate of professional traders, most corporate CEOs, and billionaire super-investors such as Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban. But her left-of-center policies rankle many people in the inherently conservative investment world.
It's a recipe for intense volatility in the week ahead. Here's a blueprint for surviving the storm.
First, consider doing nothing. Eastern philosophy teaches the wisdom of "nonaction," and right now it makes a lot of sense to simply sit tight. In the unlikely event that Trump wins, it's a near certainty that the markets will nosedive. Conversely, you can probably expect a relief rally if Clinton wins. With so much on the line, refraining from any moves next week could be your smartest move.
Regardless of who wins, you can probably expect a surge of "gold mania," as the political fallout lingers into 2017 and beyond. America is a deeply divided nation and that won't change after Nov. 8.
Intransigent Republicans in Congress already are talking about impeaching Hillary Clinton, and the election hasn't even occurred yet. There's also worry that if the election is close and Trump loses, he might challenge the outcome. Partisan rancor will unsettle markets into the foreseeable future, which makes traditional havens such as gold and silver a "win-win."
Our favorite gold play is miner Goldcorp (GG) . Goldcorp boasts production growth and extremely lean operating costs, a combination that should boost profits as the price of gold rises in coming months as most analysts predict.
Before the markets opened on Monday, shares of GG stood at $15.21; the average analyst one-year price target for the stock is $26.35, for a gain of 74%. That's an enticing gain in a broader market that's expected to either crash or at best limp along.
If you're more comfortable with a fund, we recommend SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) , the largest gold exchange traded fund (ETF) backed by physical holdings of bullion.
Another attractive precious metals play is Silver Wheaton (SLW) , a "silver streaming" company that ponies up an advance payment to miners in return for the right to buy a pre-determined percentage of their silver production. The company then makes incremental delivery payments as it receives the white metal.
Without exposure to the actual production side of the business, Silver Wheaton is more of a pure play on silver prices, which like gold are expected to rise this year.
Before the Monday open, shares of SLW were at $23.89; the average analyst one-year price target for the stock is $32.23, for a gain of nearly 35%.
If you're risk averse but still want a play on silver, consider the benchmark ETF iShares Silver Trust (SLV) .
Silver Wheaton is scheduled to release third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, Nov. 9. The average analyst expectation is that earnings per share (EPS) will reach 21 cents in the quarter, compared to 12 cents in the same quarter a year ago.
SLW's earnings growth is expected to maintain momentum. For the fourth quarter, EPS is estimated at 22 cents, vs. 14 cents in the year-ago quarter. Full-year 2016 EPS is pegged at 68 cents, vs. 53 cents. For 2017, the EPS target is 98 cents.
Other important earnings reports to watch in the week ahead:
Monday: News Corp. (NWSA) and Priceline (PCLN) ; Tuesday: Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) and Westlake Chemical (WLK) ; Wednesday: Viacom (VIAB) , Wendy's (WEN) , SunPower (SPWR) , and Transocean Partners (RIGP) ; Thursday: Canadian Solar (CSIQ) , Kohl's (KSS) , Macy's (M) , and Walt Disney (DIS) ; Friday: Weibo (WB) .
On the economic report docket: Consumer Spending and Labor Market Conditions (Monday); Jobless Claims (Thursday); and Consumer Sentiment (Friday).
And on Tuesday, at long last, the American voters will decide who will be the most powerful person on the planet. Brace yourselves.
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