Markets — like governments — tend to prefer a sure thing

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a luncheon at the Congress of Tomorrow Republican Member Retreat January 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a luncheon at the Congress of Tomorrow Republican Member Retreat January 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

While protectionist policies don't tend to drive market euphoria, President Donald Trump's action on policies from trade to immigration seem to have already had an inverse effect, combining with the promise of tax reform and deregulation to lift global markets and raise expectations of a new era in which monetary policy will be trumped by fiscal spending.

The surge in equities this week that sent the Dow Jones industrial average above 20,000 for the very first time is as good an indicator as any that taking the president at his word is a pretty safe bet. At least for now.

Less than a week on the job and Trump has already begun to tick-off his campaign promises, signing executive orders on everything from a restart to the Keystone XL and Dakota access pipelines to a wall on the border with Mexico.

And even as the appointment of former Exxon Chief Executive Rex Tillerson as U.S. secretary of state signaled a willingness to work with oil-producing nations, like Saudi Arabia and Russia, President Trump's plan to put America on the road to energy independence singled out OPEC as a "cartel" and sent a warning to any nation "hostile" to U.S. interests.

The message was unambiguous: America won't be put over a barrel.

None of that stopped Mexican stocks from their biggest one-day rise since the election. Nor did it dampen Russian enthusiasm for Trump or his energy plan, with Russia's foreign minister pointing out that Presidents Trump and Putin share many of the same geopolitical views.

And while today a rapprochement with Russia and the end of US-led sanctions may seem inevitable, what government would be willing to bet on the sagacity of an administration that relies on "alternative facts" to argue their case? After all,wouldn't making America great again be accomplished at the expense of other countries? What tensions would that create in international relations,trade-related and otherwise?

Already, Rex Tillerson's vow to send a"strong message" regarding the South China Sea has caused push back from Beijing and furious anti-American rhetoric from state-run media. Can Trump's economic overhaul withstand retaliatory measures against some of America's biggest corporates?

And while much may be said of any politician who keeps his word, President Trump may find there's more riding on his executive actions than he bargained for, as global markets continue to react less on the long-term implications of his policies and more on the hope that "Trumpenomics" will ignite a new era of global growth. Hope, as we may soon see, may not be such a sure thing after all.

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