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Dow Futures on Edge as Fund Manager Warns of 50% ‘Socialist Sell-Off’ in 2020

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:40 PM
Ben Brown
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:40 PM
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures were flat on Tuesday after painful start to December trading.
  • Yet another fund manager stoked fear over the possibility of a Democratic White House in 2020.
  • Steven Gidumal warned of 50% sell-off if a socialist candidate is elected.

Dow (DJIA) futures contracts traded cautiously higher before the bell on Tuesday. It comes after a day of heavy selling that saw 200 points wiped off the stock market index.

Traders are rattled by fears of manufacturing slowdown, recession, and the never-ending trade war with China. But fund manager Steven Gidumal threw another warning sign into the mix: the prospect of a ‘socialist’ White House in 2020 .

If a socialist is elected, the market will sell off BIG… Pick a socialist – Bernie, Liz, Pete. etc. and the market would sell off.

Gidumal is, of course, talking about Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg. He went on to quantify the sell-off at 30-50% if one of the left-leaning candidates took the White House from Trump.

Dow futures flat after brutal December sell-off

Dow futures contracts  struggled for traction on Tuesday morning, trading almost completely flat in the early hours. Traders are still dusting themselves off after a brutal 200 point massacre on Monday, triggered by weak manufacturing data and Trump’s tariff threat on Brazil and Argentina.

Dow DJIA stock market futures chart
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was choppy overnight before erasing gains at 5 am ET. Source: Yahoo Finance

S&P 500 futures  and Nasdaq Composite futures  were also little-changed. Bitcoin traded at $7,252.

Is Wall Street scared of a Democratic president?

Steven Gidumal isn’t the first Wall Street veteran to spread fear of a Democratic White House. Billionaire Leon Cooperman has been the most vocal on the topic, singling out Elizabeth Warren as a threat to the Dow and S&P 500.

They won’t open the stock market if Elizabeth Warren is the next president.

Hedge fund manager Marc Lasry joined the chorus of Warren-bashers, predicting a 10-25% stock market collapse if she were elected.

You should go short the market the minute it’s clear that Warren’s the nominee. That’s when the market is going to realize there is a real possibility.

Elizabeth Warren’s tax proposals, coupled with her plan to break up big tech companies, has investors feeling nervous.

Is the Dow safe under Donald Trump?

For now, traders are pricing in a victory for Donald Trump. The Dow Jones has returned 41% since his inauguration in January 2017 and reached record highs last month.

As for the Democratic nomination, traders would certainly prefer a moderate candidate like Joe Biden or new entrant Michael Bloomberg. Biden remains the top candidate in national polls  and betting markets. Despite briefly overtaking Biden in late September, Warren’s popularity has dwindled and she is now polling below Sanders.

Democratic polling numbers
Joe Biden (green) polling ahead of the pack while Warren (brown) falls below Sanders (blue). Source: Real Clear Politics