Economy Watch: The Election and the Markets

There was one overriding theme about the U.S. economy as the election results came in: uncertainty.
Image by emarto/iStockphoto.com.

Image by emarto/iStockphoto.com.

There was one overriding theme about the U.S. economy as the night of Nov. 8 dragged on: uncertainty. As the prospects of a Trump victory increased, the surprise upset upended the markets, since most investors and prognosticators had anticipated a Clinton win. Now the country is headed into uncharted waters.

For instance, before the election, short-term rate markets had priced in a near certainty that the Fed would boost interest rates next month. As the Trump victory became more likely, Fed Funds futures priced in less than a 50 percent chance of a December hike.

Also, U.S. stock index futures dropped more than 4 percent during the evening, and markets in Asia were down by that much and more. The dollar dropped against most currencies. The price of gold, which investors tend to run to in times of uncertainty, was up. Of course, all of that could wear off as soon as the shock is over, something like Brexit.

As for the impact of the election upset on real estate, there are too many variables to tell as yet. Investors also run to real estate in uncertain times, and overseas investors have bought U.S. properties in great quantities in recent years, for the perceived stability of the country.