WASHINGTON, November 9, 2016 – The Maven is having a hard time focusing on the computer screen this morning after collapsing into bed at roughly 3:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. The reason should be obvious to most political junkies, and indeed, to a great many Americans who watched network coverage of Election 2016 Tuesday night. Many of them expected to pop the cork, guzzle some celebratory champagne and get to bed around 10 p.m. secure in the knowledge of a Hillary Clinton blowout victory.
But no-o-o-o! What everyone got instead was a Donald Trump blowout victory, though the overly cautious major networks were extraordinarily reluctant to make that call even though it was clear that most of the blow-dries already knew what was transpiring. We’ll leave the details to our more political columns. But suffice it to say that Trump’s triumph—which involved breaching that supposedly impenetrable Rust Belt “Blue Wall” of Democrat-throttled states—apparently blindsided nearly everyone except Sean Hannity, Don Surber and yes, yours truly.
The Maven thought America’s Great Unwashed would rise up in disgust and send Barack Obama packing in 2012 based on his destructive handling of the economy and foreign relations for a disastrous four years. But BZZZZT! Wrong Answer! Perhaps due at least in part to disgruntled Republican conservatives sitting at home on election day, America got four more disastrous years of The Great Community Organizer. Four more years of Obamanation. Who says there’s no such thing as hell?
The ultimate result: The mass revolt that should have occurred in 2012 occurred with a vengeance of epic proportions last night. The pitchforks, tar and feathers were out, and Trump’s Army soundly thrashed the hideously dishonest and deeply flawed Hillary Clinton.
The former Great Unwashed, now proudly self-identifying as The Deplorables, rose up and decided to take the country back by electing perhaps the most freewheeling—and to left-wing Obama and Clinton worshipers, the most frightening—presidential candidate since that original Democrat, Andrew Jackson ran roughshod over America’s first Establishment in 1828.
As TV viewers duly noted the weeping and gnashing of teeth of the networks’ Democrat operatives with bylines, bigwig investors comfortably inhabiting America’s 1% Zone stared in horror at Wall Street futures, which headed rapidly for oblivion as Donald Trump’s shocking victory began to dawn on them. After midnight, even before the Trump’s win was called, the investment community knew the game was up and took the Dow futures down well over 800 points. It was a shocking drop reminiscent of what we saw during the epic 2008-2009 crashes.
The Maven went to bed frankly pleased with Trump’s Deplorable and unexpected victory, but also deeply worried, at least short term, about his own portfolio, which was insufficiently hedged for such a drop.
This morning he—and everyone else who’s into the market—awoke, checked their computers, and found the Dow futures down a more modest -250 points, indicating that The Great Trump Freakout had diminished somewhat.
But then The Great Surprise: After opening at the 9:30 a.m. bell and promptly dropping like a rock, the Dow quickly recovered to flatline in what seemed mere seconds. The tech-heavy NASDAQ and the broader-based S&P 500 averages took a bit longer to recover from that initial swoon. That was perhaps due to the fact that earlier in the AM, the futures for those averages had actually hit downside circuit-breakers, halting their descent, which then played out what was left of it after that opening bell.
While market volatility remains high, the DJI currently (12:45 p.m. EST) has tacked on 170.45 points, up nearly 1 percent; the S&P 500 is up 17.25 points, a nearly 0.8 percent increase; and the NASDAQ is gaining 37.53, up about 0.75 percent.
(2:30 p.m. UPDATE: DJI up 236 (1.29 percent); S&P 500 up 20.82 (0.96 percent); NASDAQ up 40.93 (0.80 percent.)
We have very little idea where things will close today, so we’re still indulging in watchful waiting today. But we may fiddle around a bit with our own holdings this afternoon, which activities, if any, we’ll chart in our companion column, The Prudent Man.
In the meantime, the Maven hopes that both political sides will observe the key lessons learned from last night’s surprising but unsurprising election results:
- If something simply can’t go on any longer, it won’t.
- Those who sneer at and condescend to those who are not them will eventually get their comeuppance. Big time.
- Those who think they are invincibly smarter than others they don’t know yet still don’t like, are not.
Have a good day. And let’s hope markets finally settle down over the next few days, and that American business ceases to sell its collective souls for cheap labor while returning to the seemingly forgotten goal of Making America Great Again.