Since Election Day, U.S. equities have done pretty much nothing but go up, with many dubbing the near 6% rise to all-time highs as the "Trump rally."
Even President-elect Donald Trump has noticed, which has some investors worried that despite the rosy picture on the surface, it's not going to be this easy going forward.
"Our view is the economy is growing slower than the market expects," said Chuck Self, CIO of iSectors, which has $220 million in assets under management. "We don't see any acceleration in the fourth quarter and with an economy growing around 2% and despite a Republican sweep of the government in the U.S., things like infrastructure and tax cut legislation are a 2018 question that won't have much effect in 2017."
Other investors have clamored that the market has run too much too fast, that stocks are portraying an optimistic picture of Trump's first few months in office.
DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach, who correctly predicted Trump would win, recently said that there is likely to be a sell-off near inauguration day, as reality sets in. TheStreet's own Doug Kass noted that the markets had a similar rise following the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, with the S&P 500 rising 8.5% from Election Day to his inauguration. Then, from January 1981 to August 1982, markets fell 28%.
While the Federal Reserve recently raised its federal funds rate for the first time since 2015 and said it expects as many as three rate increases in 2017 on the backs of a strengthening U.S. economy, not all is well.
Despite third-quarter GDP coming in at a healthy 3.2% figure per the Bureau of Economic Analysis, if you strip out certain factors, it was significantly lower, said Self. "If you took out soybeans, [the economy] was growing in the 1.5% range."
Recent economic data have been tilted toward the positive as of late, but a few negative data points should provide caution.
November retail sales came in at 0.1%, compared to a rise of 0.3% expected by economists. Excluding auto sales, retail sales rose 0.2%, less than the 0.4% expected. However, consumer confidence rebounded post-election, with the measure coming in at 107.1, up from 100.8 in October and above the expected reading of 101.2.
The iShares North American Technology ETF (IGM - Get Report) is one way for investors to get exposure to the tech sector, with Self highlighting the fund has less than 10% allocated to Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) , making it not as top heavy as some other tech-focused ETFs.
As investors continue to make preparations for 2017, while the recent rally looks good, it may not be sustainable, as reality begins to set in.
"If you recall, Obama had all the Democrats in 2008, but it took all of 2009 to pass the Affordable Care Act," Self said. "That makes us believe the market is frothy and there's a lot of wishing and hoping on how quick things get done, when the reality is likely to be different."