Live Blog: Top Investing Takeaways From the First Presidential Debate

UPDATE: The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is in the books! We hope you enjoyed our real-time coverage, which you can view in its entirety below.

Latest Updates:

That's a Wrap!

[Tuesday, September 29, 11:01 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Well, what a debate. There was no shortage of arguments, interruptions or just plain personal jabs. Tom, I hope you were keeping track of how many times President Donald Trump referenced Hunter Biden. Each of the six debate themes — and the inclusion of climate change at the very end, likely in response to pressure from lawmakers and activists — flew by.

Investors should be noting both what we learned, and what was absent from the discussion. Here are some of the biggest takeaways:

  • Moderator Chris Wallace leaned into demands that climate change move front and center. Former Vice President Joe Biden shined here, building on his robustly outlined plan for clean energy. It’s worth noting though that Trump also flirted with the idea of renewable energy initiatives.
  • Despite sharing support for electric vehicles, Trump made it clear that he was supporting traditional oil and gas companies.
  • Law and order was once again a key strategy from Trump. He also avoided explicitly calling out white supremacists, despite urgings from Wallace and Biden.
  • On race, Biden tried to straddle a line to appeal to moderate and progressive voters. He focused on reform and peaceful protests, promising he would not defund or abolish police.
  • Did we actually learn anything about healthcare? Trump once again promised he would unveil an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. Until we see that, investors will likely remain nervous when it comes to non-coronavirus pharmaceutical and biotech stocks.
  • One of Biden’s weak points was his tax plan. He danced around his proposals to increase corporate taxes, instead focusing on how he plans to create jobs and boost wealth.
  • Both candidates promised to focus on the economy and the coronavirus, although they had very different approaches. Trump picked Operation Warp Speed, Biden picked an emotional response. Wall Street seems to go back and forth on what it prefers.

Despite the rapid-fire conversation, there is still a lot for voters to learn. The next presidential debate will take place Oct. 15.

How to Brace for Election Day Volatility

[Tuesday, September 29, 10:41 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Remember at the start of the debate when we shared that many experts were hopeful President Donald Trump would ease Election Day fears? Unfortunately, that is not happening.

The Republican is leaning into claims that mail-in voting will lead to fraud. Playing into fear, he has said that states have mailed duplicate ballots to households, that people have found ballots in the trash, in the creeks, all over. He says “this is a horrible thing for our country.”

Making matters worse, Trump skirted questions over whether he would bow out peacefully and encourage his supporters to remain calm. Instead, he said he is urging supporters to go to the polls and “watch very carefully.” Citing an earlier tweet, he discussed news that so-called poll watchers were kicked out of voting sites in Philadelphia today. To him, this is a sign a fraudulent election could be just around the corner.

Kalinda Ukanwa, an assistant professor of marketing at the USC Marshall School of Business, told InvestorPlace that this failure of Trump to support a peaceful transition of power will spike volatility.

“Investors would be wise to prepare by investing in stock categories that are not as impacted by social or political unrest. Such stocks include categories that have done well in during the pandemic, such as basic necessities (e.g. groceries, supplies) and internet/mobile/digital media stocks (e.g., Google, Apple, etc.).”

Biden on Renewables

[Tuesday, September 29, 10:38 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

Good point, Sarah. Biden’s trying not to box himself into the “Green New Deal,” terming it the “Biden Deal” instead, but it mostly fits the rhetoric. Increased emission standards, preference towards renewables, fracking bans… you name it.

To me, it’s more like a small zero-sum game. A Trump presidency will be positive for traditional energy companies, while Biden seems positive for EVs and solar.

There are so many moving parts though that no president can change. As much as Donald Trump has pumped up fossil fuels, there have been record numbers of bankruptcies under his watch – 11 coal companies, among others. And it’s not directly under his control either. When oil prices slumped in 2020, it took the industry along for the ride down.

Efficiencies in solar and battery technology will keep getting better, while oil will keep getting harder to pump as the best reservoirs dry up. It’s a losing battle for even blue chips like Exxon (NYSE:XOM). A second Trump term might slow down the decline, but it’s only going to get harder for traditional sources to compete.

'I'm All for Electric Cars'

[Tuesday, September 29, 10:31 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tom, you beat me to it. It is really interesting to see how Trump approaches climate change.

The president has not exactly been the biggest supporter of clean energy initiatives during his time in office. His second-term campaign priorities include rolling back more environmental regulations from the era of former President Barack Obama. He also supports American oil and gas companies and has loudly shared his support for fracking. However, he didn’t completely brush off electric vehicles or eco-friendly policies during the debate. Instead, he said he wanted clean air and water in the U.S.

This is by no means his strong point. Biden has a much greener — and more robust — energy platform. The former vice president promises to invest $2 trillion in sustainable infrastructure such electric vehicle charging stations. He has also promised to ban fracking on federal lands and reduce carbon emissions. In other words, if you are a fan of green stocks, Biden is definitely your best bet. We have seen rallies even in the tiniest solar stocks like Sunworks (NASDAQ:SUNW) and SPI Energy (NASDAQ:SPI) ahead of Election Day because of the Democratic potential.

But investors should also pay attention to the fact Trump sort of threw his hat in the clean energy ring.

Debate Turns to Climate Change

[Tuesday, September 29, 10:29 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

Trump largely avoided talking about climate change, turning the conversation to clean water and forest management.

Trump: “I believe we need to do everything we can for immaculate air, immaculate water.”

Sarah, it’s interesting to see the Republican squirm over environmental issues. He won’t name carbon emissions as an issue, despite saying he’ll plant millions of trees. Remember, it was President Richard Nixon who proposed the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back in 1970.

There’s a great sense that Trump wants to see U.S. fossil fuels succeed. And he’s not the only one — even Warren Buffett has doubled down on gas pipeline investments.

I’d like to see what happens over the next several years. Earlier this week, China surprised people by announcing goals for carbon neutrality by 2060. It’s also one of the very few countries to consider nuclear power as an excellent long-term alternative. Companies like Cameco (NYSE:CCJ), a uranium miner, could benefit.

But in the meantime, it looks like the Republicans will keep pushing U.S. oil and gas investments rather than renewables. That’s not great news for solar and EV companies.

Trump Says He 'Rebuilt' the Military

[Tuesday, September 29, 10:18 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

In reviewing his record, Trump said that one of his biggest accomplishments is the “rebuilding” of the U.S. military and the launch of the Space Force.

In an election season so dominated with other headlines like those surrounding the novel coronavirus, police brutality and foreign interference, the military has not been a particularly hot topic. However, investors should note that Trump has thus far managed to avoid discussing claims that Russia paid the Taliban bounties to kill U.S. soldiers. Importantly, many have alleged that Trump knew about and condoned those plans.

It is a success then that Trump got in these pro-military sound bites. Perhaps this will be enough to convince Wall Street that the military will remain safe — and well-funded — if Trump nails a second term. Here are three defense stocks you should watch:

  • Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)
  • Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT)
  • ManTech International (NASDAQ:MANT)

Trump and Biden Discuss Race

[Tuesday, September 29, 10:09 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

Well, it’s back to a yelling match without much talk about the economy or rebuilding race relations

  • Biden: “One in five hundred African Americans will die from the coronavirus.”
  • Trump: “We believe in law and order, but you don’t.”

As expected, Trump is falling back on a law-and-order platform, trying to paint Democrats as enabling racial violence.

Sarah, I’m not sure whether this strategy will work this time. Suburban voters have been pretty smart about voting for what works. In 2016, 50% of suburban voters went for Trump. Today, it’s just one third, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist pollAnd that’s a massive shift. The law-and-order platform doesn’t seem to be working to help suburban voters feel safe. 

So what does that mean for the election outcome? A cynical person might go out and buy firearm stocks. Me? I’m worried about the potential crisis that could ensue no matter what outcome we’ll see from the election. If things aren’t handled well, we could see devastating effects on society and the economy.

Trump Continues to Boost Case for Gun and Ammo Stocks

[Tuesday, September 29, 10:08 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Leading up to the debate, race was one of the most contentious topics. Many voters were worried over the direction of the discussion — would moderator Chris Wallace allow President Donald Trump to lean too far into his law-and-order strategy? Regardless of his intent, Trump is running with it tonight.

He is relying on rhetoric we have seen several times, including during the Republican National Convention. Here are the takeaways:

  • Trump wants to position former Vice President Joe Biden as a danger. The argument is that Biden would allow allegedly violent protests to continue and defund the police.
  • But with the two side by side, it becomes clear that Biden does not have that progressive of a stance. Instead, he is focusing on the “bad apples” argument, saying police officers just need reform.
  • Even with this reality, Trump is able to paint himself once again as the law-and-order president.
  • Gun stocks and ammo stocks will likely continue to be hot leading up to Election Day. That could change in a Trump victory, although the potential for a contested election means these stocks could be generating buzz for even longer.

Biden: 'I'm Going to Raise the Corporate Tax to 28%'

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:58 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

I absolutely agree, Sarah. Here’s where Democrats start to skate on thin ice. Corporate tax cuts have been a huge sticking point for investors. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) had reduced corporate tax rates by around 3% of gross revenues, a massive amount when you consider most companies earn just 3% to 6% net profits.

Removing those cuts will re-rate a lot of companies, particularly those with primarily U.S. operations.

And here’s my concern. The U.S. government only picks up 7% of its revenue from corporate taxes. It’s an important part of federal revenues, but it’s not well targeted.

Don’t get me wrong: Republicans don’t have a solid tax plan either. But here’s a place where Wall Street might overreact either way.

Biden Dances Around Corporate Tax Question

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:52 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tom, I think this is really interesting. Biden seems to be dancing around Wallace’s questions about his tax plans. He really isn’t coming right out to say that he wants to increase corporate tax rates.

We previously wrote that, if Biden were elected, real estate investment trusts could provide a great opportunity for investors. The thinking there is that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated many of the tax incentives that come with the REIT corporate structure.

Is that the best way to position for potential tax increases?

V or K Shaped Recovery?

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:48 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

It’s taken forty minutes, but we’ve finally heard Biden land the first “$750 in taxes” blow to Trump.

  • Trump: V-shaped recovery
  • Biden: K-shaped recovery

It looks like the Democratic party is now trying to paint Trump as a Wall Street friend and part of that elite class as well.

We all know that stocks have been doing well. Short sellers have gotten blown out of the water of late.

So here’s where things get interesting, particularly for Wall Street. As Biden starts to dangle the prospect of repealing the Trump Tax Cuts, we’ll probably see a lot of pushback from investors. (Although in truth, the tax cuts are already set to expire over the next several years.)

8 Stay-at-Home Stocks to Buy for a Biden Win

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:44 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Trump claims Biden wants to completely shut the United States back down.

Whether or not that is true, his point remains that Biden is leaning into a sense of shared responsibility. He criticized Trump for not wearing face masks and for holding large, in-person events. Ready with a quick retort, Trump said Biden would do the same if he could attract large audiences.

But underneath the back-and-forth jabs is a reality that if Biden wins in November, he would likely take a more cautious and drawn-out approach to reopening. For instance, he said he would counter Trump and make sure teachers had the resources and plans in place before they reopened schools across the country.

With that in mind, investors may do well to consider stay-at-home stocks like these eight ahead of Election Day:

  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
  • Dollar General (NYSE:DG)
  • Zoom Communications (NASDAQ:ZM)
  • Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA)
  • Home Depot (NYSE:HD)
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD)
  • Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)
  • DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG)

Trump Claims Biden 'Wants to Shut Down The Country'

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:41 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

Trump scored his first solid hit in the debate tonight, calling doubt over Biden’s coronavirus plan.

“If we just wore masks though, we would save a hundred thousand lives …” Biden retorted.

As Trump looks to defend his coronavirus record, his best attack has been to question what a Biden presidency might mean.

There’s been some hiccups along the way for Trump as well. We’re only at 72% testing needed, according to the New York Times, and the 150 million orders for Abbot Laboratories’ (NYSE:ABT) rapid coronavirus tests won’t come in all at once.

Market watchers should pay attention here. How the economy and general stock market does in 2021 will depend greatly on how quickly the U.S. can reopen.

What Would a Biden Presidency Mean for Operation Warp Speed?

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:35 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tom, what do you think of this?

Biden is really playing into emotion, emphasizing the over 200,000 Americans who have died from the novel coronavirus. The only way Trump can really respond is to focus on fake news and the coronavirus vaccine race. Operation Warp Speed is one of his strengths — Wall Street and Main Street both want to see an effective vaccine as soon as possible. Why? We know that a vaccine will likely help the U.S. return to pre-pandemic “normal.”

But what would happen to Operation Warp Speed if Biden wins? Would beloved vaccine stocks like Sorrento Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRNE) and Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) still be hot?

Kalinda Ukanwa, an assistant professor of marketing at the USC Marshall School of Business, thinks Biden could actually boost Operation Warp Speed. Ukanwa told InvestorPlace:

“The race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine will play a huge part in the election.  … A Biden presidency could mean a very optimistic future for Operation Warp Speed because he has provided a lot of indication that he will devote more resources and attention to it in a pursuit of a Covid vaccine and cure.”

What do you think of that?

Biden Says Trump 'Has No Plan for Healthcare'

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:32 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

“This man doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Biden said.

You’re right, Sarah — as the debate turns toward the coronavirus, it looks like Biden is leaning in on the Trump administration’s failures.

And it seems like it’s getting under Trump’s skin.

I don’t think Chris Wallace is helping Trump much either. By turning the argument toward healthcare and the novel coronavirus, Biden seems to be keeping the conversation focused on the current administration.

Let’s see how the strategy works.

All About Healthcare: ACA Talk Leads to Shouting

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:27 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

That is a great point, Tom. This discussion of healthcare — considering even the shouting match is spurred — has allowed both candidates to lean into their strengths.

Former Vice President Joe Biden can appeal to supporters by touting the success of the Affordable Care Act and promising to further reform the healthcare landscape. President Donald Trump talks a big game about healthcare — even signing an executive order last week to lower prescription drug prices and eliminate surprise medical billings. But Trump wasn’t able to offer a fully fledged answer on his replacement to the ACA to either Trump and Biden.

But Trump also got to shine — once again linking Biden to socialism. This is a strategy he has continuously leaned on, especially during the Republican National Convention. Despite Biden clinging to Democrats like former President Barack Obama, Trump paints him as a peer of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Trump’s supporters — and many moderate voters — are scared of socialism. Linking this threat to healthcare, one of the more contentious policy issues in this election, helps him deflect criticism.

On that note, we have also previously reported on how investors should prepare for a Biden presidency. Instead of rushing to fear, there is reason to consider Obama-era winners.

Trump Comes Out Flailing as Chris Wallace Struggles to Contain Him

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:25 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

“We have a phenomenal nominee … good in every way,” Trump responded. “Even if we did it after the election … I still have a lot of time.”

Donald Trump mostly stuck to protocol in his first response to Chris Wallace’s first question. “We won the election and have the right to do this.”

Biden immediately looked to reframe the argument toward healthcare and Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion nationwide. “The Americans have the right to say who is the nominee … this will strip 22 million people of healthcare.”

And Trump took the bait.

Sarah, as we expected, it’s already turning into an ugly fistfight of words.

But it’s a good strategy on Biden’s part. Biden understands that one of Trump’s weakest points is the ACA reform — even managing to get Chris Wallace to shout down Trump at one point. “I’m supposed to be debating him, not you,” Trump said, “but that’s okay.”

We’ll see whether Trump’s efforts to reframe Biden as a socialist pays off.

Trump: 'Elections Have Consequences'

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:14 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

President Donald Trump says that “elections have consequences.”

One of those consequences appears to be his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Kicking off the debate, he told moderator Chris Wallace that he has confidence that she is the best nominee. Here is what you need to know:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden maintains American voters need to have a say in Ginsburg’s replacement. This has been a key part of Democratic rhetoric surrounding the nomination, calling on Trump and Congressional Republicans to wait until after Election Day to move forward.
  • Trump said that in a reverse of the situation, Democrats would similarly push forward with a nomination and confirmation.

Investors have expressed fears over the nomination — and what Amy Coney Barrett could mean for the Affordable Care Act, the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and a handful of environmental regulations. But one thing to note is that not all experts agree Ginsburg’s replacement will have that large of an impact.

Jesus Salas, an associate professor of finance at Lehigh University’s College of Business, told InvestorPlace as much.

“I don’t really think that the replacement for Justice Bader Ginsburg will have a major impact on markets. It is possible that conservative replacements will be more critical of challenges to reductions in regulation. That would be taken as a positive in the stock market. Nonetheless, I doubt that one supreme court justice will change things dramatically. It likely would be difficult to notice the change in the stock market.”

Fracking, Energy Policies in Spotlight Ahead of Debate

[Tuesday, September 29, 9:05 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

As environmental activists protest in Cleveland — just minutes away from the debate venue — President Donald Trump is leaning into his attacks on former Vice President Joe Biden. Republican commentators have been building up the argument that Biden’s plans to focus on clean energy will destroy manufacturing jobs, and thus hurt the American economy in the long term.

In a pre-debate tweet, Trump echoes that message.

Here is what investors need to know:

  • Biden has promised that he won’t actually ban fracking, although he will ban fracking on federal property. Experts debate how meaningful of an impact this will have.
  • There are plenty of traditional oil and gas companies that would likely still benefit under Biden, especially those that have less acreage on federal land. That is why Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) looked so hot earlier this week on news it had acquired WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX).
  • Democrats would likely argue that plans to invest $2 trillion in clean energy would create more jobs by funding research and development in things like electric vehicles.

Pete Buttigieg: 'We've Got Your Back Tonight'

[Tuesday, September 29, 8:55 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

Former Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg Tweeted words of support to keep the Democratic coalition together.

It’s been a tough campaign for Democrats — Biden has needed to walk a fine line between appeasing moderates like Rep. Joe Manchin (D) while keeping firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) and its left-leaning flank from splitting off. It’s something that hurt the Democrats badly in the 2016 election, with Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein “taking” votes from Hillary Clinton.

In particular, that’s made his economic campaign promises hard to pin down. On the one hand, you might expect a true-blue Democrat to be rather pro-union, and perhaps even anti-trade in favor of keeping American jobs intact. On the other, there’s the more progressive policies, such as universal basic income.

But this year has been a strange one … it almost feels as if the Republican party has painted swaths across the central U.S., leaving Democrats to pull together an unwieldy coalition of moderates and progressives like never before.

It will be interesting to see if Biden can continue to hold things together.

Will Biden Lean Into Democratic Stimulus Proposals?

[Tuesday, September 29, 8:48 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Tom, I think your point there is super accurate.

Seemingly every week since the CARES Act went through, we have seen daily market moves based on the future of stimulus funding. Democrats propose high-dollar packages that would give more direct payments (which we know boosted investments on trading platforms like Robinhood), more funding for novel coronavirus testing and and more funding for education initiatives. If former Vice President Joe Biden can lean into this Democratic support for further funding while pointing out how President Donald Trump — and Congressional Republicans — have opposed larger stimulus packages, this Main Street vs. Wall Street argument could be super strong.

One more thing to note is this morning’s news that Democrats are going after a $2.2 trillion proposal. It seems that many investors are disappointed that even more progressive lawmakers are scaling back what they are fighting for.

Trump Advisor: President Must Close Polling Gap During Debate

[Tuesday, September 29, 8:38 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

“He needs the debate to break his way.”

Thus stated one of President Donald Trump’s advisors in the hours before the first U.S. presidential debate. Behind this bold message is the fact that the president is slipping behind Democratic rival former Vice President Joe Biden in key states including Pennsylvania.

How could Trump do this? One easy way would be to reassure Republican and Republican-leaning voters that he can turn the economy around. The economy was a key issue in the 2016 election, and Trump has leaned into his record hard. However, the novel coronavirus has brought about historic unemployment levels, a massive stock market selloff and all sorts of other recessionary conditions. Showing how he can change that could curry favor.

David Kass, a clinical professor of finance at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, told InvestorPlace that he would also like to see Trump ease fears over election volatility.

“I would like to hear President Trump say that he will honor the results of the election and the Constitution and not threaten to interfere with a peaceful transition of power if he were to lose the election. Since President Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court whose judicial philosophy is to strictly interpret the Constitution, so should the President. Otherwise, the preservation of our democracy would be at stake.”

Here’s one potential setback: Only 6% of voters tuning into the debate tonight are still deciding who to vote for. According to CBS, 73% are watching for entertainment.

Scranton vs. Park Avenue: Biden Lays Down the Gauntlet

[Tuesday, September 29, 8:35 pm]
Contributed by Thomas Yeung

With less than 30 minutes to go before the start of the debate, Presidential hopeful Joe Biden released an ad on his Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) account framing the political campaign as a “Main Street” vs. “Park Ave” fight.

“All that Trump can see from Park Avenue is Wall Street,” Biden said in the ad.

Sarah, this debate looks like it’s going to shape up into a very different one from the 2016 elections. Biden’s taking a leaf from the Trump handbook and casting the (Republican) incumbent as a Wall Street enabler.

In a sense, Biden has a point — Trump’s tax cuts have been great for the economy, at least in the short term. And the FTC/DOJ has been largely toothless over antitrust (perhaps except for Facebook’s surprise $5 billion fine last year). In most years, rising stock markets should signal a good thing. Here’s Biden trying to reframe the argument.

And as we’ve seen, Senate Republicans have started to push back in the past two to three months over the coronavirus spending bills. And as election day comes up, I think we’re going to see more of Democrats trying to drive a wedge between the White House and Congress.

Trump and Biden Prep to Address 6 Key Themes

[Tuesday, September 29, 8:19 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

We are fast approaching the first presidential debate this election season, and uncertainty may just be the theme of the night. What jabs will each candidate make? Who will come out on top? And will investors learn anything new to guide their portfolio decisions?

Only time will tell.

Last week, debate moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace revealed the six themes driving tonight’s debate. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will address their records, the Supreme Court, the economy, the novel coronavirus, the integrity of the upcoming election and the idea of race and violence in U.S. cities.

Each candidate will dedicate time to these themes tonight, as The Commission on Presidential Debates intends to foster in-depth conversation on a set list of topics. But between the lines, there are a few things for investors to note.

The first is that many are upset by the omission of climate change on this list of first presidential debate themes. As wildfires continue to destroy California — just months after similar destruction in Australia — many voters and lawmakers were hoping the issue would make the cut. Paul Brace, the Clarence Charter Chair in Legal Studies at Rice University’s Hanszen College, told InvestorPlace that he is disappointed by this choice.

“Like many, particularly in the wake of massive fires in the West and recurring hurricanes in the South, I believe climate change deserved prominence at the debates. As I note, a wholistic approach to climate change will undoubtedly intersect with the economy in both stimulating and challenging ways. There is no excuse for ignoring these issues unless you, unlike the vast majority of scientists in the world, view climate change as a non-issue.”

Brace is not alone in that opinion. Sen. Ed Markey has spearheaded a coalition of senators who are demanding change. His request? Climate issues move front and center in future debates. Will we see either candidate play into this interest tonight? Investors are likely aware that Biden has promised to invest $2 trillion in clean energy initiatives if elected.

There is also one more thing to note as we prepare for the debate to kick off. The theme “race and violence in our cities” has raised controversy. Many are worried that instead of focusing the debate on police brutality, Wallace has set up Trump to lean into his law-and-order strategy and bash protestors for their conduct. You might remember that this was a common theme during the Republican National Convention. Which way will the conversation lead tonight? Depending on the answer to that question, we may see a rise of interest in so-called law-and-order stocks.

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