Markets stunned: Election shock adds up

The shockwaves of a potential presidential victory for one-time longshot Donald Trump thrust financial markets around the globe into a world of pain, causing a historic slide in stock prices and a dash by investors to investments deemed as safe havens.

Just like Brexit in June, when Britain shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union, the shock of Trump's strong showing and potential path to the White House caused monumental market tumult

"The market got it wrong," Chuck Self, chief investment officer and ETF strategist at iSectors, told USA TODAY.

The open of trading Wednesday if Trump completes the upset win will likely be a bloodbath, he adds, citing the market action late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

"Investors have to be ready for significant volatility," Self says, adding that the U.S. stock market could suffer a 5% downdraft when the market opens for regular trading Wednesday morning. A 10% correction is possible in coming days due to the political uncertainty a Trump win would bring, he says, adding that he doesn't see the election causing a bear market, or a drop of 20% or more.

Here's a tally of the carnage:

* U.S. stocks. In afterhours futures trading the Dow was off 630 points, after being down as much as 800 points. The futures market is used as a signal to help traders determine stocks' value when regular trading resumes. If these losses persist into regular trading, declines could approach the largest one-day decline in the Dow since the average lost 777.68 points on Sept. 29, 2008, during the throes of the financial crisis. This decline also tops the 610-point drop back on June 24, when Britain shocked the world and investors when it voted to exit the European Union, a crisis known as Brexit.

* Gold. The yellow metal usually bought when investors worry about a major economic slowdown surged upwards of 5% to $1,337.38 an ounce, according to Bloomberg data. That is the highest level for gold since September, Bloomberg News says.

* U.S. dollar. The greenback was hit as investors worried about Trump's rhetoric threatening to curtail global trade. The U.S. dollar dropped nearly 4% against the Japanese yen and more than 2% against the euro, according to Bloomberg data.  Cutting back on global trading activity could reduce the demand for U.S. exports.

* Global currencies. While the euro and yen advanced against the weak U.S. dollar, the Mexican peso fell as much as 12% to 20.76 per dollar, according to Bloomberg data. The peso is being closely watched by market observers since Trump directed much of his ire to Mexico. Trump has threatened to build a wall to separate the U.S. from Mexico and and tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement.


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