The 2016 election is now less than one month away. Lists are popping up all over the internet of which stocks to buy and sell depending on whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins. Most of these lists are pure speculation. Wouldn’t it be great if traders could get the candidates’ take on certain companies right out of their own mouths?
Fortunately, the seemingly endless campaign has provided the two candidates with plenty of opportunities to speak their minds about the economy, business and policy. Neither candidate has been shy about naming names in the business world. From pricing, to taxes to fraud to jobs, both candidates have repeatedly singled out individual companies for what they consider bad behavior.
It’s one thing for a stock to endure some negative headlines. It’s entirely different for a stock to be on the president of the United States’ hit list.
Here are seven stocks that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have called out by name.
Stocks Called Out During 2016 Election: Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)
Since the 1990s, Hillary Clinton has made healthcare a central part of her political platform. The issue of drug pricing first came to the forefront of this campaign back in September of last year.
The New York Times published a piece highlighting the extreme price hikes that “Pharma Bro” CEO Martin Shkreli performed while running Turing Pharmaceuticals. In response, Clinton tweeted that pharmaceutical price gouging was “outrageous.”
The following day, she laid out a plan on her website for a new set of regulations on drug pricing.
“And you know what really is upsetting about this is that drug company sells that same drug all over the world at a much lower price to everybody else,” she said of GILD. Gilead’s hepatitis C medicines cost between $63,000 and $94,500.
Stocks Called Out During 2016 Election: Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (VRX)
If you think it couldn’t get any worse than the President of the United States bashing your stock by name, it can. In March, Clinton created an entire 30-second TV campaign ad devoted to slamming Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX).
In the ad, Clinton references a letter she received from a woman who has been taking a brand name drug since the 1980s. In that time, the price for 10 vials of the exact same drug has risen from $180 to $14,700.
“The company is called Valeant Pharmaceuticals. I’m going after them. This is predatory pricing, and we’re going to make sure it’s stopped,” Clinton concluded.
Of course, Clinton is just one of VRX’s many problems, and Valeant stock is already down 77.5% so far this year. In addition to outrage over drug pricing, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have been looking into VRX for its non-GAAP accounting practices as well. Traders certainly shouldn’t expect the pressure to go away if Hillary Clinton is elected.
Stocks Called Out During 2016 Election: Wells Fargo & Co (WFC)
This one is a no-brainer. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have long been calling for break-ups of the biggest U.S. banks. Recent headlines of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) creating thousands of fraudulent bank accounts and charging their customers illegal fees just added fuel to the fire.
“We are not going to let companies like Wells Fargo use these fine print gotchas to escape accountability,” Clinton promised voters.
Clinton added that she was deeply disturbed by WFC “bullying thousands of employees into committing fraud against unsuspecting customers.”
Surprisingly, as of this week, Donald Trump has stayed silent on Wells Fargo. Trump campaign economic advisor Peter Navarro called the scandal “just stupid, greedy behavior.” Although the topic of big banks didn’t come up in the first two debates, it is a likely candidate for discussion at the last one. Don’t be surprised if Donald Trump joins the WFC bashing. Banks defrauding customers is pretty low-hanging fruit for politicians.
Stocks Called Out During 2016 Election: Johnson Controls International plc Ordinary Share (JCI)
VRX isn’t the only stock to land a leading role as the villain in one of Hillary Clinton’s campaign ads. Back in February, Clinton released a TV ad calling out Johnson Controls International plc Ordinary Share (NYSE:JCI) for its attempted tax inversion deal.
“When the auto industry was going under, car parts companies like them begged taxpayers for a bailout, and they got one,” Clinton said in the ad. “But now that Johnson is back on its feet, they’re gaming the system and moving profits to Ireland so they can avoid paying taxes here at home. It’s an outrage.”
Clinton concluded by saying that companies like JCI should “pay a price” for dodging U.S. taxes.
Despite Clinton’s protest, Johnson Controls completed its inversion merger with Tyco in September. In addition, JCI stock is up 38% this year. If Hillary Clinton is going to follow through on her pledge to make JCI “pay a price,” she’ll have to win the 2016 election first.
Stocks Called Out During 2016 Election: Apple Inc. (AAPL)
Donald Trump has sparred with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) on multiple occasions this campaign season. First, Trump lashed out at AAPL back in January for relying on Chinese manufacturing.
“We’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries,” Trump said.
About a month later, Trump jumped on AAPL again, this time for the company refusing to help the FBI unlock the phone used by one of the San Bernadino shooters. Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed the company was making a stand on the privacy and security of its customers. Trump was having none of it.
“What I think you ought to do is boycott Apple until such a time as they give that security number,” he told supporters at a rally.
While Donald Trump has been picking fights with AAPL, shareholders shouldn’t be worried about a potential Hillary Clinton victory. Clinton spoke at a campaign fundraiser hosted by Apple executives back in August.
Stocks Called Out During 2016 Election: Ford Motor Company (F)
The first presidential debate was the most highly rated TV debate in history, drawing 84 million viewers. That’s a heck of a time to throw one of the two largest U.S. auto makers under the bus. Yet Donald Trump did just that, slamming Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) for “fleeing the country.”
“Ford is leaving — thousands of jobs. Leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio. They are all leaving,” Trump said, criticizing the company for opting for cheap foreign labor.
Ford executive chairman Bill Ford, Jr. was so incensed by Trump’s claims that he scheduled a personal meeting with Trump. Ford argued that the company has pledged to preserve Michigan jobs. Ford is still planning to move production of the Ford Focus and Ford C-Max from Wayne, MI to Mexico starting in 2018.
Ford called it a “very good meeting,” but later added that “whatever he’s saying he’s going to say, I suppose.”
Stocks Called Out During 2016 Election: Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ)
Of all the hated companies in the world, it’s odd that there’s at least one company that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have called out by name this campaign season. The company makes cookies.
Back in August, Trump laid into Nabisco, which is owned by Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ:MDLZ).
“Nabisco is closing a factory in Chicago, and they’re moving to Mexico. No more Oreos. I don’t like Oreos anymore,” Trump said.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton can’t agree on healthcare, on taxes or on international trade. But apparently the one thing they can agree on is Nabisco.
“If a company like Nabisco outsources and ships jobs overseas, we’ll make you give back the tax breaks you received here in America,” Clinton said about the closure.
MDLZ shares are already down 5.7% in 2016. With either Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton taking office next year, it doesn’t seem like shareholders will have a friend in the Oval Office either way.
As of this writing, Wayne Duggan did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.