If you think Donald Trump is headed for victory, consider betting on defense stocks. Predicting a Hillary Clinton presidency? Try health-care services.
So says Highland Capital Management, a $17 billion hedge fund that’s mapping out how to play the contentious U.S. election.
Under a Trump administration, economic sectors seen as big winners include oil, gas and coal, consumer discretionary, manufacturing and technology and telecommunications, according to a presentation by the firm. Should Clinton prevail, solar and wind energy, materials and health-care services and facilities would benefit most, the firm says. Its ideas are based on candidates’ stated policy views and track records.
Highland’s outlook follows two weeks of political conventions that saw Republican Trump warning of dangerous immigrants at home and terrorism abroad, while Democrat Clinton pledged to close tax loopholes and make college more affordable. Polls are close, with Clinton holding an edge in the latest average calculated by RealClearPolitics.com.
Materials, in Highland’s view, are the only major winner regardless of the election outcome. Clinton’s five-year, $275 billion plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure would boost materials companies, according to the firm. Trump has promised to boost infrastructure broadly, in addition to his push for a wall along the 1,954-mile U.S.-Mexico border.
The Dallas-based firm says it isn’t siding with either candidate. Here is a look at how the money manager sees other industries faring:
The defense sector is poised to benefit from spending under Trump, who has vowed to strengthen the military, intelligence and cyber security, said Highland managing director Michael Gregory. “There won’t necessarily be winners all around,” he said, as Trump is also likely to cut what he considers wasteful spending.
Clinton would probably be “neutral to positive” for defense, said Gregory, who sits on the firm’s investment committee. “Her support of releasing the Pentagon from the Budget Control Act is a good sign for the defense and aerospace sector,” he said, referring to the 2011 law governing debt limit increases.