Just because the election is over does not mean traders will lack things to chew on for the remainder of 2016.
"We may see residual volatility as capital shifts to new sectors to compensate for new risks associated with a Trump presidency," said David Schiegoleit, managing director of investments at the private client reserve of U.S. Bank. "But once the volatility works itself out you will find the consumer in good shape and ready to start spending. So we are constructive on pro-growth, pro-consumer sectors of the market."
Third-quarter earnings thus far are up about 1.6% year over year. In Schiegoleit's view, not only does this possibly signal an end to the earnings recession, but also a decent upside surprise compared to forecasts.
"While a 1.6% growth rate may seem weak, the underlying internals are more supportive for equities," said Schiegoleit. "When removing the effects of the energy sector, earnings are coming in at about 4.9% growth year over year."
The Fed is also something to watch in the fourth quarter. The fixed income market is acutely focused on the December FOMC meeting, and the likelihood of a rate increase. The Fed Funds futures are forecasting a 75% chance of a rate hike in December, as are most market forecasts.
"It is safe to assume this hike is baked into most prices," said Schiegoleit. "However, little attention has been paid thus far to forecasting what the accompanying statement will say for future rate hikes. This sets up the possibility of volatility toward the end of the year if the FOMC statement foreshadows something considerably different than an additional two hikes in 2017."
Regarding energy, Schiegoleit believes oil is locked in a well-defined range of $30 to $50 per barrel. And with the pick-up in consumer spending seen toward the second half of this year, he expects low energy prices to result in a "tailwind for stocks, as opposed to the headwinds we saw early this year."
Finally, Schiegoleit said the Brexit vote came and added tremendous uncertainty just when Europe seemed to be finding at least some footing to stabilize its financial and economic woes.
"Nationalist movements have gained traction across the continent, with possible referendum votes on E.U. membership or framework in several countries the result," said Schiegoleit. "Italy, France and Poland stick out as the most likely to face possible referenda in 2017. Further deterioration in E.U. cohesion could result in a snowball effect, threatening the E.U.'s existence as an entity."