After Trump's shock win, markets take a pause, and with good reason

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange the morning after Donald Trump won a major upset in the presidential election on November 9.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

The market has paused, and with good reason.

With the exception of banks, which are benefiting from the double-whammy of higher rates and the perception that less regulation is coming, sectors that had big moves up this week - energy, materials and health care - are all down today. Volume is still heavy, but we will not log the twice normal volume we have logged in the last two trading sessions.

We have stopped going up because we have reached the limits of the ability to move the markets on the powerful but vague ideas of fiscal stimulus, less regulation, and lower taxes. We need specifics, which will not be forthcoming immediately.

This will change - we are already getting names of those who will be on his transition team - but the next move in stocks will likely come when members of the cabinet are named and traders will bravely predict legislative outcomes from a list of names. That will likely take at least a couple more weeks.

In the meantime, a debate has raged on the floor of the NYSE for the past two days over exactly how Donald Trump won and Hillary Clinton lost. Many felt Trump brought in large numbers of voters, far more than anticipated. Others insisted support for Clinton was never as strong as for Obama in 2012.

We now have almost all the election results in, and the results are rather surprising.

Market eyes infrastructure plays on heels of Trump win

You can look at the actual data below, but here are my conclusions:

  1. More people voted in 2012 than 2016.
  2. Trump did not appear to turn out a large army of supporters. Trump had 1 million fewer people voting for him than voted for Romney in 2012
  3. Clinton had 5 million fewer people voting for her than voted for Obama in 2012.
  4. 4.2 million more voters voted for alternative candidates (Johnson, Stein, others) in 2016 than 2012; it appears that many who voted for the alternative candidates came from the potential Clinton camp.

Total vote count

  • 2016: 126.0 million
  • 2012: 128.7 million

Alternative candidates (Johnson and Stein and others)

  • 2016: 6.1 m.
  • 2012: 1.9 m.

2016 election

  • Hillary Clinton: 60,071,781 popular votes (47.7%)(228 electoral votes)
  • Donald Trump: 59,791,135 popular votes (47.5%)(290 electoral votes)
  • Gary Johnson: 4,102,585 popular votes (3%)
  • Jill Stein: 1,228,862 popular votes (1%)
  • Other candidates: 817,850
  • TOTAL: 126,012,213

2012 election

  • Barack Obama: 65,915,795 popular votes (51.1%) (332 electoral votes)
  • Mitt Romney: 60,933,504 popular votes (47.2%) (206 electoral votes)
  • Gary Johnson: 1,275,951 popular votes (0.99%)
  • Jill Stein: 469,628 popular votes (0.36%)
  • Other candidates: 173,197
  • TOTAL: 128,768,075
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Source: Federal Election Commission report/New York Times