Trump Can’t Take Credit For Ford Kentucky Plant, But He Can Brag About These Market Events

From soaring prison stocks to rattled bond markets, here's what Trump can celebrate.
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(Trump image courtesy Flickr user Gage Skidmore)

(Trump image courtesy Flickr user Gage Skidmore)

On Thursday night, Donald Trump tweeted, incorrectly, that Ford Motors would be keeping a plant in Kentucky instead of moving it to Mexico. “I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky,” Trump wrote.

In reality, there was no plan to move the plant to Mexico, in part because a union contract prohibits the company from doing so. There was talk of shifting production of a particularly Lincoln model to Mexico, but no jobs would have been lost in Louisville, where Ford Escapes are also made.

Ford's decision was essentially PR, while Trump's characterization of the move, tweeted it to his 15 million followers, was misleading at best. 

In other words:

lol nothing matters

But there are all sorts of market developments the coming commander-in-chief can take credit for if he’s got an itchy twitter finger on one of those long lonely nights up in Trump Tower. Here’s a list, provided gratis, so Trump can avoid any more mixups in the future.

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Trump's promise to “dismantle” Dodd-Frank and ease up on Warren-style regulatory has led to a field day for financials. The KBW bank index is up 13 percent since his election. Uncertainties abound, of course, but investors are betting the banks on Trump. On a related note . . .

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Though Trump has surrounded himself with hedge fund guys – Steve Mnuchin, Carl Icahn, – the “bonanza” has more to do with big market movements than any specific sops Trump has held out to the industry. The whipsaw moves in the bond market mean there's some hedgies out there counting cash right now. Speaking of . . .

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For bond markets that prickle at uncertainty, the idea of a nation run by a guy who basically ad-libbed his first calls with various world leaders raises worries. But uncertainty aside, Trump's mondo fiscal plans – from tax cuts to infrastructure spending – could push up inflation and further roil bonds. All hail the King of Debt. Moving on . . .

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In Trump's view, you can't make America great again without deporting a few million immigrants. Sad! But it's good news for the for-profit prison industry, particularly Corrections Corporation of America and Geo Corp, whose stocks bounced double-digits in the days after Trump's election.

Some industries have been less lucky.

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While the rest of the market rallied in the days after Trump's election, big tech stocks sank on fears that Trump will do some disruption of his own in Silicon Valley. Tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos assailed Trump's policies during the campaign, and Trump has shot right back, suggesting that Amazon is a tax-dodging monopoly.

Some of the market response evidently stems from fears that a Trump – a famed grudge-holder – will just straight-up retaliate against the big boys of tech. Perhaps that explains Bezos's tepid olive branch last week.

Given Trump's temperament – as well as the recent moves by Google and Facebook to tamp down on fake news that generally glorifies him – it's actually a wonder that he hasn't gloated on Twitter over the recent FANG slump. “Bezos's Pathetic Amazon's stock is going down because they know we're going to be tough on tax and anti-trust. Sad!”

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It might be counter-intuitive, but investors have dinged firearms manufacturers on the notion that Trump, nominally pro-gun, won't drive the kind of fear-buying that occurs regularly under Democratic presidents. Every major mass shooting sparks a rally in Smith and Wesson stock, as gun owners rush to buy up firearms ahead of an imagined crackdown on the Second Amendment. Few expect Trump to inspire the same fears.

Not sure how he'd craft a tweet on that one.

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Opening Bell 11.9.16

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