The U.S. now has its own Brexit. The Trump election, in many ways, echoed the populist movement that the media and pollsters misread in Great Britain at the end of June. Trump ran on a slogan to "Make America Great Again" and on better controlling our borders, and it resonated with voters, much as similar themes did in the U.K.
No, the dollar hasn't crashed 17%, as the pound did after the U.K.'s decision to quit the European Union. In fact, the dollar has strengthened significantly and may continue rising if the Federal Reserve raises rates next month.
But there have been shockwaves reverberating in the domestic bond and equity markets.
Stocks fluctuated wildly immediately after Trump's win, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq faring the worst, possibly because of fears of a more protectionist trade policy. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered and posted gains after Dow futures fell 800 points. The recovery occurred primarily because the Republican sweep of both houses of Congress plus the White House will likely lead to less regulation and business-friendly tax reform.
As for bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped from 1.83% last Tuesday to 2.07% last Wednesday (the day after the election), a level we hadn't seen in a year. It rose further, to 2.24%, on Monday morning and closed Thursday at 2.28%. Prices on the 30-year Treasury bond have also fallen, driving yields up to 3% for the first time in 10 months.
The big move in rates, however, like the moves in stocks, is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction and shouldn't be interpreted as the beginning of sharp spiral upward. As U.S. rates rise, bonds will attract international capital flows, which will temper the increase in yield.
A steeper yield curve is positive for bank stocks, too, which also should benefit if Republicans successfully pare the Dodd-Frank regulations.
Other industries that could benefit from either regulatory relief or fiscal stimulus include infrastructure, pharmaceutical and biotech and defense. Losers, besides the already hit tech sector, could include hospital stocks, auto and auto parts companies, as well as solar and alternative energy investments.
Utility stocks and other bond proxies also could come under pressure.
Keep in mind that stocks as a whole are not cheap. They're not as expensive as they were late this summer, but they're still trading above their historical average on trailing earnings.
As for the economy, many analysts believe we were on the cusp of a small pick-up in growth even before the election; the gross domestic product grew in the third quarter at a decent 2.9% clip.
Corporate profits also look to show positive year-over-year growth for the first time since early 2015.
The bottom line: Investors shouldn't make rash, emotional investment decisions based on the outcome of this or any election. Besides, too much uncertainty exists about Trump's policies and appointments. The Trump we saw on the campaign trail also may not be the Trump we see in the White House. He took on a more conciliatory tone in his victory speech; political and economic realities likely will force him to scale back his ambitions.
In the end, it will be the economy and corporate profits that drive the market, not any one politician or political party. And both appear to be in decent shape -- for now.
Debra Silversmith is Chief Investment Officer for First Western Trust in Denver.