Elections are now less than six months away, and the candidates that will go head to head come November are all but set in stone, barring an indictment from the U.S. Justice Department for Hillary Clinton over her emails. This seems rather unlikely though, given that Justice Department employees have donated a total of $73,437 to her campaign so far. So assuming Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, it’s time to start thinking about which industries are exposed more to Clinton and which to Trump.
If Clinton Wins
The democratic candidate has been particularly hard-nosed on the coal industry, with renewable energy forming a major part of the bedrock of her campaign. If Hillary gets the nod come November, coal companies could suffer on expectations even more than they already have. In the United States, industry leaders and some of the most exposed to governmental reform include Teck Resources Ltd. (NYSE: TCK) and CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX). The former is a large coal producer that mines and sells coal intended for use in steel making. This probably reduces its exposure slightly when compared to the latter, which provides a large amount of commercial and domestic fuel coal, but not considerably.
Another industry set to take a hit on a Clinton win is insurance. Health care is another bedrock of her campaign — specifically, the expansion of the currently available health care for all policies. While hospitals are set to benefit from an influx of patients, the fresh wave of patients are unlikely to be the ones footing the bill for their treatment. Instead, insurance companies will be forced to do so. Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) stand out here as Obamacare will continue to strain insurance companies, with many already pulling out of health insurance altogether.
If Trump Wins
Moving on to Trump, the obvious stocks set to lose here are those U.S. companies that derive benefit from foreign manufacturing. Trump has suggested a 35% tariff on imported goods, and companies that manufacture outside its borders will have a choice: pay the tax or shift production to domestic factories. Of course, the decision likely will be bottom-line driven.
If labor cost savings exceed 35%, a company will stay where it is and just pay the tax. The obvious example, here, is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Apple produces in China at what is likely a more than 35% savings on labor. It probably will not shift production to a U.S.-based factory then and will opt to pay the tax on a Trump presidency. We can assume then that Apple will take a hit to its market cap if Trump wins, as it is already reeling on expected lower iPhone sales going forward.
There is another possibility though two steps deeper. If Apple tries to raise prices on its products to make up for the tariff loss, consumers will have a trade-off to make, one that likely translates to a foregoing of expenditure in alternative areas. The first things to go when disposable income declines are luxury service industry spends like restaurants and cinema.
By proxy of a rise in consumer expenditure on foreign goods, expect restaurant stocks like Wendy’s Co. (NASDAQ: WEN), Domino’s Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) and others to take a hit.