Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020

Factbox: With Biden declared winner, what's next for investors

FILE PHOTO: A stock trader monitors share prices at the stock exchange as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Frankfurt, Germany, October 27, 2020, REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

(Reuters) – With Democrat Joe Biden projected winner of the U.S. presidential election by major television networks on Saturday, many investors welcomed the news as good for markets but warned of continued volatility.

Republican President Donald Trump, who has made repeated claims of electoral fraud without providing evidence, immediately accused Biden of “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”

Here is what investors said they will be focused on next:

* The Senate. All eyes are now on two runoffs expected in Georgia in January, which will determine who controls the upper chamber of Congress. Investors are weighing the impact that will have on a Biden administration’s ability to push through stimulus, regulation changes and any tax increases.

* Trump’s reaction. Although investors are growing less worried about huge gyrations in U.S. stocks, some expressed concern about what Trump might do during the lame duck session before inauguration. Unpredictable moves could insert volatility in the markets, they said.

* Stimulus and the Fed. Attention will now turn to Biden’s ability to get fiscal stimulus agreed and how much more the Federal Reserve can do to support the coronavirus-hit economy. With the potential prospect of a Republican Senate, expectations of an easy large stimulus win have been wound back. What happens there will also have implications for Treasuries.

* Currencies. An increasingly bearish picture is unfolding for the U.S. dollar, which has suffered its worst week since March on signs that Fed money printing rather than government spending may be deployed to bolster the economy.

* Tech stocks. High-flying tech stocks are set to benefit from potential gridlock as it reduces the chance of investors selling those shares on concerns about capital gains tax hikes. Still, these stocks could see some tax-fueled selling ahead of the Georgia runoffs. Other stocks that benefit from a Biden win: solar, cannabis and infrastructure.

* Biden’s Cabinet. Investors are now looking ahead to Biden’s Cabinet picks to gauge whether he will govern as a business-friendly moderate or promote progressive legislation that could weigh on sectors such as financials and oil but bolster clean energy.

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