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Stocks are heading to new highs whether Trump or Clinton wins: Wells Fargo

As investors wait with bated breath to find out who the 45th U.S. president will be, Wells Fargo delivered a calming message: Equities are heading higher with either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in the White House.

"We've been telling our clients for a year: The trajectory of the economy will remain the same during the next 12 to 18 months of the new president's term no matter who is elected," Scott Wren explained to CNBC's "Futures Now" on Election Day. "The market might worry or think about what might happen two or three years down the road based on who is president, but only for a very short time. The market will quickly get back to trading on what the economy and earnings are going to look like over the next six to 12 months."

On a case-by-case basis, the senior global equity strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute said that, with a Trump victory, there would likely be some short-term market downside, but that it would not be comparable to the severe drop that followed Brexit.


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Oct. 24, 2016, in Tampa, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Oct. 24, 2016, in Tampa, Florida.

"If Donald Trump wins this thing, you'll see some immediate initial downside. We'll test those technical stops below 2,085 in the S&P 500," added Wren when discussing the initial response to a Trump presidency.

Wren added that while Hillary Clinton means much more certainty and her victory would lead to near-term bump, markets would still only rise "60 handles higher in the S&P" at the end of the year from current levels. Wren believes that this is mainly because her victory has already been priced into the markets.

With this in mind, Wren explained that his firm remains adamant that Fed action will be the key driver for the U.S. economy in the coming year.

"The Fed does not change based on who wins," explained Wren, who foresees two hikes before the end of 2017. "The Fed appears to be setting the table for a hike at the December meeting, but the equity market should take that in stride as the market has been given a heads-up well in advance."

Throughout the course of 2016, Wells Fargo has remained one of the most bullish firms on Wall Street and Wren has defended that position on numerous occasions. His 2016 and 2017 year-end S&P 500 price target ranges from 2,190 to 2,290, which would represent a 7 percent increase from current levels.

"The stock market, after seven years, is finally near fair value for this point in time," noted Wren when discussing the second-longest bull market in history wherein the value of stocks have nearly tripled. "Our work suggests the S&P 500 trades to the top end and possibly slightly beyond near the middle of next year. In other words, the high water mark for stocks in 2017 is likely to be mid-year."

In this time frame, Wren is recommending investors turn to information technology, health care and industrials as he believes that earnings within these sectors will be another key driver upward.

"We look for earnings growth to be flat to barely positive in 2016," began Wren. "However, we're expecting 6 to 7 percent growth in 2017."

For this reason, Wren is advising that investors continue to "buy on any pullbacks" before year's end and concluded in a note to CNBC that "U.S. stocks are a safe haven in an uncertain world."


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