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A Warren Presidency Might Not Be So Bad for Stocks, RBC Says

Joanna Ossinger
A Warren Presidency Might Not Be So Bad for Stocks, RBC Says

(Bloomberg) -- Concern on Wall Street has been rising along with 2020 Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren’s poll numbers. But worries about her potential success may be overdone, according to RBC Capital Markets.

“Any pain from a Warren win is likely to be temporary,” Lori Calvasina, RBC’s head of U.S. equity strategy, wrote in a report Monday that was partially underpinned by a survey of RBC industry analysts. “Most of the sectors at high risk under a Warren presidency from a policy perspective (Financials, Energy, Health Care, Industrials) are already deeply undervalued versus the broader market.”

Warren has pitched ideas like “accountable capitalism,” and advocated for consumers. Her recent surge in key state and national polls has stoked concern about sectors such as biotechnology, for-profit schools, health insurance, and even the U.S. dollar. Some market players have voiced unease.

There’s potential for market winners as well, according to the RBC report. For one thing, the election of a progressive Democrat could be “supportive of the already growing popularity of ESG as an investment approach,” Calvasina said.

She also said small caps might outperform larger stocks, as they may have less direct risk from policy changes.

Any breakups of big technology companies “would be a problem” for a few stocks with “mega” market capitalizations, though it could be a positive for retailers and others that have suffered from the rise of Amazon.com Inc., she wrote. And regional banks might be hurt less than the bigger financials, she said.

“The stock market tends to go up over time, regardless of who occupies the White House,” Calvasina wrote. “Ultimately we think Corporate America and U.S. equity investors would learn to adapt to new political leadership, as they always do.”

(Adds link on tech companies in sixth paragraph.)

--With assistance from Rita Nazareth.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joanna Ossinger in Singapore at jossinger@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Kathleen Hunter

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