Aug 23, 2018 - Economy

Go deeper: What happens to stocks if Trump is impeached

President Trump touted how crucial his presidency is to the markets' gains, in an interview today with Fox News:

"If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash. I think everybody would be very poor."

History as guide: Stocks continued to rise during and after Bill Clinton's impeachment, which occurred a bit earlier in a long bull market than where we're at today. Stocks fell when Richard Nixon resigned, but markets were reacting to a confluence of other events like a global oil crisis.

What analysts are saying:

  • Christopher Mistal, director of research at Stock Trader's Almanac, tells Axios:
"Because impeachment of Trump has been talked about for so long I would not expect it to not have any real impact on the market even if it does happen. Why? Because VP [Mike] Pence would become President and the majority of the policies that Trump has put in place would stay in place."
  • Jeremy Siegel, a market historian and Wharton School of Business professor, last year told CNBC if Trump was no longer in office, the Dow would go up 1,000 points: "One has to remember that the rally since Trump’s election has been based not on Trump’s agenda [but] on the Republican agenda."

More context:

The markets have seen large gains since President Trump took office, with the S&P 500 climbing over 25% since his inauguration.

  • Giving Trump credit for the surge is a matter of perspective.
  • Much of it is tied to improved corporate profits, a lot of which are being boosted by Trump policies like tax cuts and deregulation.
  • But the markets and economy were already strengthening before his election, both in the U.S. and globally.
  • Markets had no major reaction to the guilty plea by Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen or in the charges against Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
  • Stocks did sink late last year after an erroneous ABC News report that, had it been accurate, may have set the stage for impeachment. But that also was before the big tax cut bill was passed and, as the market analysts note, there is no indication that a President Pence would change course.
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