Caterpillar Stock Jumps After Trump Victory

The result of the election may already be having some effect in the industry.

📅   Thu November 10, 2016 - National Edition
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Caterpillar said in a statement that it would continue to advocate government policies it believes to be pro-business with the new administration and members of Congress.
Caterpillar said in a statement that it would continue to advocate government policies it believes to be pro-business with the new administration and members of Congress.

The Peoria Star-Journal is reporting that shares of Caterpillar Inc. stock jumped to their highest close for the year Wednesday, joining strong gains in the major U.S. stock indexes one day after Donald Trump's victory in a contentious presidential election.

The company's stock price climbed nearly 10 percent in the opening moments of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, quickly reaching the daytime high of $93.20 per share after closing at $84.68 while polls were still open Tuesday. Shares of Caterpillar traded throughout the day at 7 percent to 8 percent higher and closed at $91.19 — territory the shares have not visited since the first days of 2015.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 256 points, or 1.4 percent, to 18,589.69, within 50 points of the all-time high it set in August. Other stocks that saw significant gains included those in the financial, health care and industrial sectors.

Caterpillar said in a statement that it would continue to advocate government policies it believes to be pro-business with the new administration and members of Congress.

"We look forward to working with President-elect Trump and the new Congress," the statement read. "Our policy priorities have not changed. We will continue to urge swift action on a pro-economic growth agenda. There is bountiful evidence that free trade, tax reform, infrastructure investment and smart regulation are critically important to manufacturers' success."

Caterpillar officials have previously stated that the company would work for ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership before the end of President Barack Obama's term — a pact that Trump emphatically denounced on the campaign trail.

After publicly supporting Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race, Caterpillar CEO and Chairman Doug Oberhelman did not do the same for Trump in this election cycle.

Trump advocated infrastructure investment in stump speeches, and specifically referenced Caterpillar equipment in conjunction with the idea of building a wall along the border with Mexico.

Other stocks similarly rallied, with banks, drug makers and industrial companies among those experiencing pointed surges.

Viagra maker Pfizer climbed 7 percent, one of the biggest gains in the Dow. The biggest pharmacy benefits manager, Express Scripts Holding Co., was up more than 7 percent.

Traders also bid up shares in defense contractors, anticipating the companies will thrive under a Trump presidency. Northrop Grumman climbed 5.4 percent, while Lockheed Martin rose 6 percent. Raytheon added 7.5 percent.

Private prison operators also surged. Corrections Corp. of America vaulted 43 percent, while GEO Group jumped 21.3 percent.

Firearm sales typically surge when a presidential candidate who favors an expansion of gun-control laws is elected. That's not the case with Trump, however. That gave investors a reason to sell shares in firearm makers. Smith & Wesson slid 15.2 percent, while Sturm, Ruger & Co. fell 14.4 percent.

Bond prices also dropped sharply, sending yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note went above 2 percent for the first time since January.

Traders are selling bonds to hedge against the possibility that interest rates, which have been ultra-low for years, could rise steadily again under a Trump administration, said Tom di Galoma, managing director of trading at Seaport Global Securities.

"People are starting to believe that Donald Trump is good for the economy, which makes him not so good for the bond market," di Galoma said. "You've also had the stock market come back overnight. People are starting to realize that a Trump presidency is not the end of the world."