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Top S&P 500 CEOs weigh in on Trump's effect on business and the economy


U.S. President Donald Trump
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump

Donald Trump has set the corporate world abuzz. Some companies fear his tweets. Others gleefully anticipate his proposed tax cuts. All of them, it seems, are anxiously waiting to see how the Trump Era affects their bottom lines.

To find out about executives' fears and hopes, CNBC reviewed every instance where S&P 500 executives mentioned Trump by name in this quarter's corporate earnings calls — the teleconferences where execs field questions from analysts or reporters. Here are nine especially revealing quotes:

Stephen Alan Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts

"Several of us in our business were sitting within 30 feet of President Trump when he took his oath of office on the platform last Friday. We all believe, and I mean all of us, that the most overwhelmingly important event geopolitically for the next 50 years is liaison, a constructive liaison between the People's Republic of China and the United States of America. That truth is undeniable. That dynamic is unquestioned."

Marillyn A. Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin

"Basically, President Trump recognizes that the F-35 is a very large program, it's the largest program in the Department of Defense. He wants to make sure... that the American taxpayer is getting the lowest possible cost on the program. And we understand his concerns about affordability, we certainly share that ... And it's not about slashing our profit, it's not about our margins when we have those discussions, it's about how do we get the cost of the aircraft down today and in the future.

Gregory J. Hayes, CEO of United Technologies

"Well, first of all, we've obviously been following the Trump administration closely in terms of what you're talking about on tax reform. And it looks like we're going to ... lower the top rate to somewhere around 20 percent, eliminate the deductibility of interest but also provide for immediate expensing of capital. Also provide for a territorial system which is really good news for us because, as you know, we've got about $6 billion in cash sitting overseas that we can bring back to the U.S. very cost-effectively."

Dennis A. Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing

"President Trump's clearly very focused on enacting policies that will grow the U.S. economy and grow American jobs, and we're very supportive of that. So I'm encouraged by his engagement. His approach to engaging business, having an open dialogue, discussing the issues, finding solutions, finding ways to grow U.S. manufacturing jobs I think are all very positive. And that engagement is a productive approach. We welcome it. We've got a voice at the table."

Nicholas K. Akins, CEO of American Electric Power

"President Trump's focus of enhancing the ability for manufacturing industries to thrive and produce jobs, well, that's AEP's service territory. His focus on a balanced portfolio of energy resources, including fossil fuels, that's also AEP's service territory. So as I said before the election, whether focused on the Clean Power Plan as in Hillary Clinton's proposals or President Trump's proposals, AEP should prosper..."

John S. Watson, CEO of Chevron

"First, in an overall sense, I've been very pleased with the agenda that the Trump administration has. We have seen an avalanche of regulation over the last decade, and putting a much more balanced cost/benefit framework in place to assess the value of those regulations, freeing up infrastructure pipelines, all of that is quite positive for our business, for the country, job creation, and a lot of things. So that is very much a positive."

John J. Ferriola, CEO of Nucor

We are "very encouraged by their discussion about a strong infrastructure bill. Both President Trump and (Democratic) Senator (Sherrod) Brown are speaking about something significant in the neighborhood of about $1 trillion dollars over the next 10 years. That has a significant impact on steel consumption."

Terrence A. Duffy, President of CME Group

I also think what's interesting for 2017 is ... some of the European elections that we're going to see in 2017. As you know, we get a tremendous amount of revenue coming out of Europe. And that is something that, with the elections coming up, I believe in Germany and France this year both, it could be another volatile situation. I'm not saying it's going to be the same as when President Trump was elected, but that's something that we could look at. So I think geopolitical volatility could be definitely in the mix..."

Watch: Bill George explains a special risk for CEOs

Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously attributed a quote to the CEO of Boston Properties.