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Obama Wins U.S. Presidential Election – BMO’s Market Experts Tell What This Means for Investors


BMO Financial Group’s market and investment strategists in Canada and the U.S. offer their views on what lies ahead following last night’s historic U.S. Presidential election:

Donald Coxe, Global Portfolio Strategist, BMO Financial Group

* Obama’s victory will lead to a “feel-good” attitude within America at a time when gloom and sourness have become excessive. That favours financial assets generally at a time that fall is moving into winter.
* Obama’s spending plans will be seen as economy-favourable with the nation in recession. Stocks should benefit near-term.
* Obama is fully committed to continuation of all the ethanol subsidies and tariffs that McCain opposed. That is good news for the reeling ethanol stocks that have been buffeted by falling oil prices and still-high corn prices.
* Obama has threatened to impose carbon taxes on coal-fired electrical generating plants.
* None of the candidates promised significant revisions to the extremely favourable royalty structure for mining on federally-owned properties, mostly in the West. That is important for Canadian gold miners operating in Nevada.
* He famously said that on his first day in the White House he would “call up the President of Canada to announce he was tearing up NAFTA.” We believe he won’t do that.
* Worldwide, the election of a new U.S. President with a change agenda will be greeted favourably. This should facilitate America’s dealings with other nations on such hot topics as Russian expansionism and response to Iranian nuclear weapons development.

Andrew Busch, BMO Capital Markets, Global FX Market Strategist

* Expect a U.S. stimulus package of $150 billion to be enacted and checks out the door by March with an impact on consumer spending by late April and May.
* Expect very expensive bond deals issuance to be done over the next three months with those issuing likely to only be high quality to get done and with high spreads to Treasuries. This should mean they get snapped up.
* There is going to be massive government bond issuance in 2009 across the globe to pay for bailouts, stimulus packages, and social spending. This means we should see a further steepening of the yield curve in 2009, but it won’t necessarily point to a big economic recovery like it has in the past.

Jack Ablin, Chief Investment Officer, Harris Private Bank

* Both an Obama victory and a Democrat-controlled Congress are currently factored into markets.
* When looking at Europe vs. U.S. price-to-sales comparisons, one can see the U.S. is beginning to trade like a “nationalized” country.
* Tax rates are expected to increase which will give an edge to municipal bonds.
* A move towards socialized medicine appears to be already discounted. In examining the valuation of U.S. vs. European pharmaceutical stocks, the U.S. valuation already incorporates nationalized health care.
* Large cap is set to outperform as small cap moves back to normal valuation.

Paul Taylor, Chief Investment Officer, BMO Harris Private Banking

* We are a long way away from a sustainable equity market rally. A sustainable equity market rally will only occur when it is clear that the spectre of a protracted, significant U.S. economic recession is not in sight.
* Leading economic indicators signal a meaningful U.S. and global economic recession. This will cause policymakers in Washington to focus attention on the economy as the number one priority.
* Investors should have a defensive strategy, with an overweight in Consumer Staples, Telecom, Utilities and underweight in Energy, Materials and Technology. This will be more appropriate until the spectre of recession is past.
* With Fed Funds at 1.0%, monetary policy will be impotent moving forward.
* A global economic recession is bearish for commodity based currencies (Canadian and Australian dollars) and is bullish for other currencies. The current “crisis of confidence” is bullish for the U.S. dollar due to its position of reserve currency.


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