Feb 4, 2019

Analyses show companies ridiculed by Trump outperform ones he praised

President Trump frequently attacked companies like Amazon on Twitter. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

It pays to be on the president's bad side. At least it has for public companies over the past two years, a pair of indexes created by Ritholtz Wealth Management CIO Barry Ritholtz and featured in Bloomberg show.

Driving the news: President Trump has broken with past presidential precedent and heaped both praise and disparagement on a collection of U.S. companies since taking office. Ritholtz tracked the stock performance of companies relative to their relationship with the president.

  • In 2017, the "Oligarch Index" of Trump's favored companies rose 20%, but trailed the S&P 500's gain of 21%. During the same year, the "Drain the Swamp Index" of Trump's hated Twitter targets rose 43%.

Similar results were seen in 2018. For the one-year period ended Jan. 10, the Oligarch Index fell 23%. The Drain the Swamp Index rose 6.3%.

  • "That is a 29 percentage point advantage for Trump’s most-hated companies over his most favored ones," Ritholtz noted in his piece for Bloomberg Opinion. "This is even bigger spread than the first year we tracked the indexes, when the spread was 23 percentage points."

The relative performance of the indexes likely has more to do with who Trump likes than whether or not he goes after them on Twitter, Ritholtz said.

  • Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post, and founder and CEO of Amazon.com had a good year. Amazon gained 32%.
  • Twitter, a favorite target of conservatives last year, whose founder, Jack Dorsey, refused to create a lying Hillary emoji, did even better, gaining 36%.
  • Even the "failing" New York Times added more than 23% during the period.

The Oligarch index, meanwhile, had some disasters.

  • Goldman Sachs, dealing with an ethical cloud, fell 31%.
  • Ford Motor dropped 34%.
  • Facebook, a conduit for fake news that may have helped Trump's electoral prospects, lost almost a quarter of its value.
  • Exxon Mobil, whose former CEO served for a time as secretary of state in the Trump administration, fell 17%.

"All told, it was a rough year for the Oligarchs," Ritholtz said, "with little other than huge tax cuts to comfort them."

Go deeper: Trump's Big Tech contradictions

Go deeper

House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health