The question of whether stock prices are driven by current events or whether these events only serve as bumps on a road that equities are already taking will be debated to eternity. What cannot be debated though is the regression to the mean. It always happens, no matter what the market conditions are and no matter what the longer term trends may be. Here are five stocks that have skyrocketed since Donald Trump’s victory, so much so that four of the five are already above their 12-month consensus estimates.
Some of these stocks had done nothing but rise and rise since the election. Now we have seen at least some selling come into play, and if not then some of the buying euphoria seems to have become more rational. To help support this notion: the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down almost 55 points to 18,868 on Wednesday. While that may be a small drop, there had been seven-straight days without the Dow closing down.
Jack of all trades infrastructure firm AECOM (NYSE: ACM) closed at $27.88 the afternoon everyone thought it would be Clinton by a landslide. Since then, the stock has exploded by 35%. Runs like this for AECOM, while extreme, are not unheard of, as a long-term chart shows quite heavy volatility going back to 2007.
Trump’s reputation as a builder and friend of construction may have catalyzed the run here, and though the consensus estimate is at $40 a share, a 35% run in a week needs a cool down period before it can continue. AECOM is actually one of the few stocks that did not have a knee-jerk sell-off when Trump was declared president-elect. It traded higher the next day and has kept on trucking since. At some point soon, institutional traders, who own 88% of the float, are going to want to book profits, especially since its price-to-earnings ratio has breached 60.
A sharp technical pullback is possible here, followed by another run to $40.
Bank of America
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) is up over 16% since election day close. That wouldn’t normally be such an extreme move, if not for the fact that this is a $200 billion megacap that has rarely, if ever seen such a sharp move higher in such a short period. It could be argued that Trump’s victory does have fundamental significance for the big bank because Trump has stated that he wants to repeal Dodd-Frank. Such a move would be a boon to financial stocks, and traders seem to already be pricing in that possibility, given Republicans will control both chambers of Congress and the presidency.
Nevertheless, a 16% move in a week probably needs a breather. We are after all talking about a $28.5 billion inflow in market cap in the space of just a few days. Shares are already 4% above the 12-month consensus estimate of $19 a share.
This second-tier financial stock and loan manager is up 31% since election day. With a big portfolio of both public and private education loans and other loans, Navient Corp (NASDAQ: NAVI) is almost entirely dependent on monetary inflation – not necessarily a rise in consumer prices but the expansion of the money supply itself that tends to lead to the former.
There doesn’t seem to be any direct connection between the Trump victory and Navient’s business prospects, as at some point Navient’s public loan portfolios, all guaranteed by bankrupt governments at various levels, will default. Trump probably won’t cut spending, and Clinton wouldn’t have either, so any loan manager is a dangerous long-term hold.
Navient is already 4% above the 12-month consensus target of $17 and 55% up year to date. While a repeal in banking regulations may secondarily benefit this company, long-term averages still have to catch up to price first, and profit-taking may be imminent here.
Another stock associated with the Trumpian reputation for building and construction, United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI), which basically rents out construction equipment to building contractors, is up over 20% since the election day close. This one is way out of range of 12-month consensus estimates, over 12% out of range in fact. Above that, it is now trading 120% higher since bottoming below $42 a share in February, and just hit a 52-week high on Monday, November 14.
There is a danger with United Rentals however, and that is higher interest rates. The company is already leveraged over 100% and could have trouble servicing that debt if the post Trump bond sell-off continues. This company, in other words, is quite dependent on very low long-term interest rates, and it could sell off if U.S. Treasuries continue to fall.
While United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) has clear and obvious benefits from a Trump presidency, it has already climbed over 35% since election day and has blown by 12-month consensus estimates of $22.5 a share by 27%. If Trump has been vocal about anything consistently, it has been his intention to slap tariffs on Chinese imports, with specific emphasis on Chinese “steel dumping” which he thinks hurts America, even though Americans are the ones choosing to buy it freely.
If Trump does enforce his trade policies, it will subsidize U.S. Steel, though at the expense of U.S. steel consumers who will be forced to buy at higher prices. While U.S. Steel could continue its trek higher, it is still 263% off 52-week lows and at its 52-week highs. It is a very volatile stock, and traders need to take care in case Trump, for whatever reason, fails to follow through on his protectionist policies. Just from a technical standpoint though, the stock looks to need a breather as the 10-day relative strength index (RSI) is already near maximum.