Numbers don’t lie.
The U.S. stock market is at record highs and has posted paper profits of $5.4 trillion since Election Day 2016, says Wilshire Associates.
President Trump on Tuesday reminded the Twittersphere that stocks have done well since his win, tweeting: “Stock market hit yet another all-time record high ... There is great confidence in the moves of my administration.”
Does Trump have $5.4 trillion worth of bragging rights? Wall Street says Trump can take some credit for stocks’ record-setting run, but certainly not all.
Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments, says outgoing Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen deserves “much of the credit” because the Fed’s policy of low interest rates has helped maintain a good economy and “favors stocks over other investments.”
But Trump, he adds, “gets some credit for establishing a pro-business climate in Washington.” Trump also gets kudos for rolling back business regulations and pushing for a big tax cut for U.S. corporations, which investors say will boost corporate profitability.
But Trump isn’t the lone factor in stocks’ rise the past 12 months. Analysts cite an uptick in most of the world’s economies as propelling the market higher, and say the president can’t take credit for rebounds in Europe or Japan.
“He’s had the wind at his back,” says Tom Block, a policy analyst at New York-based Fundstrat Global Advisors. Trump is just being Trump, he adds.
“My take,” says Block, “is that Trump is brilliant at marketing the Trump brand.”
Trump’s self-promotion could backfire.
“Let Trump take credit, but he’ll also own it should the market ever tank,” says Axel Merk, president of Merk Investments.