×

The three most popular postelection trades: BofAML survey

Workers with the Denver Public Works department have spent all day making emergency pothole repairs on roads and streets around the metro area.
Helen H. Richardson | Denver post | Getty Images
Workers with the Denver Public Works department have spent all day making emergency pothole repairs on roads and streets around the metro area.

Money managers believe infrastructure spending will be one of Donald Trump's first achievements in office, and buying the S&P 500 was the most popular trade the day after the election.

That's according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch's survey of 114 global fund managers on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the Trump election upset. Markets had largely been viewed as positioned for a Hillary Clinton victory, and some top Wall Street strategists had expected stocks to sell off by several percentage points if the real estate mogul won.

But in a massive recovery from a roughly 5 percent election night plunge in stock index futures after Trump won, U.S. stocks surged Wednesday in the highest trade volume day since Brexit in June with financials and health care leading.

Thirty percent of survey respondents said they bought the S&P 500, making it their top postelection market action. Other popular trades were selling risky assets, buying gold and buying the U.S. dollar, according to the survey, which was published Thursday.

Source: BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research
Note: Excludes 'don't know' and options with only 1 response.

Money managers overwhelmingly expected Trump's first hundred days in office to bring tax repatriation and infrastructure spending, the survey showed, while a small fraction expected major changes in trade policies.

Source: BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research

While the initial stock market reaction may have been positive, more than half of investors think more political risk is still to come, and 59 percent said the Trump win will not affect their cash holdings. About one-fifth will reduce cash, while one-fifth will raise cash, the survey said.

With Trump's win, "the world is heading into a profound (and longer term) geopolitical recession," Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, said in a Wednesday news release. "A Trump presidency means the most significant hit to American power and leadership globally than any other event since the collapse of the Soviet Union."

Nearly half of respondents said they thought the election lowered the chance of a Federal Reserve rate hike in December, while 14 percent said it raised the odds.

"This reflects 'policy uncertainty' narrative and explains why U.S. corporate tax repatriation hopes" aren't yet leading to an "extreme bullish view" on the U.S. dollar, the BofAML report said.

Source: BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research