In the weeks after Donald Trump’s election victory last November, a “Trump trade” propelled stocks markets forward, as investors bet that he would trigger a wave of growth – while also spelling trouble for emerging markets.
In the 100 days since his inauguration, the trade has grown more complicated. Hopes of rapid tax cuts and sweeping deregulation have receded, but so have fears of counter-productive protectionism. The gains for stock markets remain intact, but beneath the surface markets have shifted significantly.
Here’s a look at Trump’s first 100 days in office.
President Trump takes office
Presidential inauguration days are usually negative for markets, but the S&P 500’s 0.34 per cent gain was its best inauguration day performance since President Eisenhower took the oath in 1953. The S&P dropped briefly as Mr Trump talked of “American carnage” during his speech but bounced back before the close.
Trump scraps the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Mr Trump signed an executive order to withdraw the US from Barack Obama’s historic trade pact with Pacific nations. Markets were largely undisturbed, as Mr Trump made his plans to scrap the TPP well known on the campaign trail.
Trump meets with carmakers
The S&P 500 automobile manufacturers index hit its post-inauguration peak after Mr Trump met auto industry executives. Subsequent meetings with auto industry CEOs didn’t have the same effect on the market.
Dow makes history
After more than a month of near-misses, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 20,000 on the president’s sixth day in office as investors predicted faster US growth.
Border wall feud
The Mexican peso rallied almost 2 per cent against the dollar after Mr Trump signed an executive order calling for the construction of a wall on the southern border. The peso sank the next morning when Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted “Mexico will not pay for any wall” and Mr Trump immediately canceled a planned meeting with him.
Threat of a 20 per cent import tax
Shares of Walmart, the retailer which relies heavily on imports, hit their lowest point since inauguration after White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the US could use a 20 per cent import tax to finance the Mexican border wall.
Trump dismisses acting US attorney general
The US dollar index dropped sharply following a weekend of protests over the US travel ban and Mr Trump’s dismissal of acting attorney general Sally Yates. Ms Yates had refused to defend Mr Trump’s order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations. The anxious mood also pushed investors to safe assets. Bond yields fell and gold prices edged slightly upward.
Trump kicks off financial regulation reform
Goldman Sachs shares had their best day since the inauguration as Mr Trump signed two executive orders aimed at easing financial regulation. Gains were compounded when Gary Cohn, Mr Trump’s economic advisor and the former number two at Goldman Sachs, told CNBC that the administration’s goal was to reduce corporate taxes to their “lowest possible level.”
Trump insults Nordstrom on Twitter
Nordstrom shares fell briefly, then rose to close 4 per cent higher after Mr Trump tweeted that Nordstrom had treated his daughter Ivanka unfairly by dropping her clothing label. Security markets were steadily learning not to overreact to presidential tweets.
Attorney-General reverses order to phase out private prisons
Shares in Geo Group, one of the largest private prison operators in the US, rose 1.5 per cent in after-hours trading after Attorney-General Jeff Sessions issued a memo reversing former President Obama’s policy of phasing out the use of private prisons. Following the election, prison operators’ share prices had already doubled.
Trump's first speech to Congress
JP Morgan peaks relative to market
Excitement about the reflation trade intensified. Speaking to CNN after the closing bell on Feb 28, Bill Dudley, the governor of the New York Fed, said that rates were likely to raise — great news for banks’ profitability. Since then, investors have grown more nervous.
Trump signs revised travel order
After his first executive order that banned visitors from several Muslim-majority countries hit legal obstacles, Mr Trump unveiled a revised executive order dropping Iraqi citizens from the list of banned travelers.
Trump releases budget
The White House proposed its “America First” budget, which would make cuts to the state department, public broadcasting and environmental programs while increasing funding for defence, law enforcement and veterans’ affairs.
Trump fails to repeal Obamacare
Mr Trump’s plans for repealing Obamacare evaporated in the House of Representatives soon after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected that 24m Americans would lose coverage under the Republicans’ plan. The S&P 500 healthcare facilities index rose to its highest level since 2015. US stocks suffered their worst weekly performance since the election amid concerns about Mr Trump’s ability to deliver on his promises.
Hopes sink for business tax reform
Companies that are subject to high tax rates — and therefore likely to benefit most from tax reform — sank as the failure of Mr Trump’s healthcare bill shifted attention to tax reform. Optimism bounced back in subsequent weeks, but stayed below pre-inauguration levels.
Trump launches attacks against Syria
A US missile strike on a Syrian air base caused investors to seek safe havens including the Japanese yen, gold and government bonds. Crude oil jumped to a month high above $56 a barrel.
Trump meets with Xi Jinping
The Mexican peso, a bellwether of emerging market sentiment, settled following the much-anticipated meeting between President Trump and his Chinese counterpart at Mar-a-Lago, in which the two leaders negotiated agreements on finance and US beef exports. The peso fell again amid talk of a Nafta renegotiation on Apr 25.
Trump says dollar is 'too strong'
North Korea's missile test fails
The Trump administration signalled it would hold back from any immediate military or diplomatic response to a failed North Korean missile launch but warned of “other actions” if Pyongyang proceeded with a nuclear test.
Trump announces lumber tariffs
The Canadian dollar slid to its lowest level since December as the US president imposed new tariffs on imports of Canadian softwood lumber. Mr Trump said on Twitter that Canada has “made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult”.
Trump threatens to leave Nafta
The peso swung wildly as Trump warned that the US could still “terminate” its two-decade-old free-trade agreement with Mexico and Canada if it did not get a “fair deal” from a renegotiation of the pact, only hours after dropping a plan to pull out.
As Trump’s 100 days reached their end, the market scored a remarkable landmark. Despite all the political drama, the Vix index — often known as the “fear index” as it measures how much investors will pay to hedge against volatility — dropped to its lowest level since the Fourth of July weekend of 2014. Markets appear comfortable that growth can stay on course under Mr Trump.