KEY POINTS

  • S&P 500 up more than 60% since Trump took office
  • His tax policies were supportive for Wall Street
  • IMF expects global recovery to proceed in fits and starts

Markets might not perform as well under President Joe Biden's administration as they did under President Donald Trump, a survey from CNBC found.

A survey of investors, traders and market strategists found 67% of them telling pollsters the stock market as a whole won’t be as strong under a Biden presidency as it was during the four years of Trump’s tenure.

Year-to-date finds the Dow Jones Industrial Average up only 6.4%, but it’s held above the psychological threshold of 30,000 since breaking the barrier in early December. The S&P 500 is up 15% year-to-date, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up nearly 44% since Jan. 1.

CNBC noted Monday that the S&P 500 alone is up more than 60% since Trump assumed the presidency in January 2017. That’s in large part due to tax policies that supported revenue streams for big business. And while weak demand during the pandemic left parts of the energy sector in ruins, his lax environmental regulations made conditions conducive to growth over the long haul.

That’s likely to end during the Biden presidency. Earnings in general under Biden might be limited because of his calls to reverse corporate tax benefits for big earners, CNBC reported.

Nevertheless, those surveyed by CNBC said they expected the Dow in particular would do well given its broad reach across 30 components, from Apple (AAPL) to Walmart (WMT). Shares in Apple are up 85% year-to-day, while Walmart saw share value increase by about 21%.

Two-thirds of the respondents said they expected the Dow to rally some 16% in 2021 to finish the year within sight of 35,000. Only 10% said they expected the Dow to falter, while 5% said they expected the rally to bring blue chips closer to 40,000.

By sector, respondents to the CNBC survey said they expected discretionary items like dining and travel would recover under Biden, as would industrial and financial components. With Biden looking to a more climate-friendly future, items such as utilities and energy would see headwinds, the poll found.

Biden has based much of his economic policies on supporting a middle class that saw jobs evaporate during the pandemic. That lends to the notion that Wall Street is not reflective of life on Main Street, a reference to the economic outlook for everyday Americans.

Analysis from financial services firm Deloitte, however, discounts that by noting that stock markets take a longer view into the future than many Americans.

“Today’s investors realize that even if it takes two or three years to restore a normal level of GDP and profits, the pandemic’s long-term effect on share prices will not be that high,” the firm reported.

The International Monetary Fund said the global economy in general would recover in fits and starts. In October, it revised its forecast for global growth lower, from 5.4% to 5.2%, citing the uncertainty from the pandemic. U.S. gross domestic product next year, however, is forecast to grow by 3.1%, compared to a 4.3% contraction for 2020.

The U.S. economy grew by 2.2% last year.

US President-elect Joe Biden said the latest stimulus package is only a first step and he will push for more once he takes office US President-elect Joe Biden said the latest stimulus package is only a first step and he will push for more once he takes office Photo: AFP / Alex Edelman