On the day that the Presidential election is happening, investors are throwing money into the inflation winners. The problem is that maybe this is not an inflation trade. Maybe it is a risk-on trade. There are some other interesting moves happening which also seem counterintuitive on the surface. Some obvious winners for one candidate or the other are not necessarily playing out the way you might expect.
The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEMKT: GLD) is up 1.2% at $165.16 but this is still way down from when the markets resumed trading last Wednesday. The move in silver, The Devil’s Metal, is also up even more than gold as the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEMKT: SLV) trust is up 1.8% at $30.72 on the day. And what about oil? The United States Oil (NYSEMKT: USO) is up 1.6% at $32.11 on the day.
What is interesting is that even the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEMKT: XLU) is up 0.4% at $35.81 against a 52-week range of $33.18 to $38.54. And the banking and financial ETF, the Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEMKT: XLF), is up 1.3% at $16.17 and that only about 2% shy of a 52-week high as the 52-week range os $11.73 to $16.44.
Isn’t Obamacare supposed to be good for reimbursement rates for hospitals? Industry-leader HCA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HCA) is down by 4.5% at $30.78 on the day, but its 52-week range is $19.86 to $34.32. UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), the largest health insurer in the US, is up over 1.5% at $56.12. Cost-containment, or supposed cost-containment via pharmacy benefit management, is not working well for Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) as its stock is down over 13% at $54.65 on guidance comments. Are we supposed to think that inflation or risk-on is at work here in healthcare now?
And coal is a political issue as well. Market Vectors Coal ETF (NYSEMKT: KOL) is up 1.2% at $26.06 against a 52-week range of $21.49 to $39.85.
All that we can truly say is that hopefully today brings a resolution and final outcome. This election has been much shorter than the 2008 election cycle yet somehow it has felt just as long.
JON C. OGG