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Kensho Stats

Trading Mnuchin's America: These stocks may thrive under the Treasury secretary


A Caterpillar 953C track loader moves soil to a dump truck as contractors work during the construction of residential housing in the Norton Commons subdivision in Louisville, Kentucky.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Caterpillar 953C track loader moves soil to a dump truck as contractors work during the construction of residential housing in the Norton Commons subdivision in Louisville, Kentucky.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin predicted in a CNBC interview Thursday that the Trump administration can bring the economy back to 3 percent growth or faster as it pushes to get tax reform done by August.

The other market-moving part of the interview came when Mnuchin said he is looking closely at the border adjustment tax, a comment some traders took to mean the proposal was less likely to happen and therefore the administration's tax reform may add to the deficit. The dollar fell vs. the euro after the comment.

As an exercise in investing in a Mnuchin America, we plugged those two key variables — stronger growth and weaker dollar — into hedge fund analytics tool Kensho, to find which kind of investments could thrive. Kensho found there were three periods (of varying time lengths) when GDP was greater than 3 percent and the Euro was greater than where it is now ($1.05) since 2000.

The study's results brought back stocks and industries that have come to define the "Trump trade" such as Goldman Sachs and industrials like Caterpillar.

Here's how the Dow and S&P 500 performed during those periods, on average, along with the top-performing market sectors:

Here were the top-performing Dow stocks, on average, during those periods:

To be sure, Mnuchin stated his support for a strong dollar, as is the custom for the Treasury secretary. But traders believe his actions on the border tax will matter more than his words. Not to mention that his boss, President Donald Trump, has hinted at times that he prefers a weaker greenback.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, parent of CNBC, is a minority investor in Kensho.