With only a few hours to go before the first presidential debate tonight between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, industry experts weighed in on what investors should be focusing on while watching the event and what the candidates could say to help move the markets.
Speaking during a JConnelly Virtual Media Roundtable Tuesday, they pointed to key issues around the economy, taxes, trade and continued consumer and investor uncertainty that the candidates may address.
Here are four things Biden and Trump could say during the debate that would have a positive effect on markets, according to the panelists.
1. Trump offering to compromise on a stimulus deal.
The U.S. desperately needs another stimulus package from Congress and the White House, according to Troy Gayeski, partner, co-chief investment officer and senior portfolio manager at SkyBridge Capital.
“One thing that Trump could say, however unlikely, is ‘I’ve ordered my Treasury Secretary and I made it very clear to [Mitch] McConnell that we need a stimulus. We’re willing to meet the Democrats halfway and do around a $2 trillion package, and if we don’t have enough Republican votes to get it through, then I’m telling McConnell to allow it to be voted on and we’ll get enough Democratic votes to get it through and a few very vulnerable [Republican] senators like Susan Collins and Thom Tillis and [Martha] McSally to get on board.’ That would be very positive.”
The chances of that happening are slim, he conceded. Earlier in the roundtable discussion, he said the stimulus plan was “on life support” and he predicted the chances were slim of both sides agreeing on a plan before the election.
Biden pledging to hold off on a tax hike.
Biden has announced he would look to raise taxes on individuals making more than $400,000 in annual income and he will likely raise taxes on capital gains and on corporations if he wins and the Democrats sweep Congress, Gayeski noted.
However, “a key bullish driver would be a mention” tonight by Biden that even though that’s part of his platform, “we’re in no rush to do that because we know the priority now is to get back to GDP and get unemployment as low as possible,” according to Gayeski.