As Election Day 2020 faded into history, Americans breathed a huge sigh of relief. Not because President Donald Trump won or because Democratic challenger Joe Biden won (we actually don't know who won yet), but because it's over. And now Americans can get back to what Americans do best: excessive discretionary spending.
Perhaps anticipating a wave of consumer spending now that the election is over, and with Thanksgiving -- and Black Friday -- on the horizon, investors turned their interests to the stocks of MasterCard (NYSE:MA), Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) on Wednesday. As of 10:45 a.m. EST, MasterCard stock is up a strong 4.1%, Shopify stock 4.4%, and PayPal 5.7%.
Now, it's a bit curious that out of these three stocks, PayPal is the one that's performing best today. Despite the company beating earnings on Monday, PayPal stock fell on Tuesday as investors reacted to weak guidance and Wall Street banks began cutting their price targets in response. (Another bank, by the way, BMO Capital, cut its price target on PayPal just this morning.)
Be that as it may, even BMO says that PayPal is worth more ($193 a share) than it's selling for right now (roughly $189 and change per share). And overall, investor sentiment today seems to be looking ahead, past the voting and the counting of the votes (which might take days) to the prospect of the voting being over and consumer attention drifting away to other things -- such as shopping.
Regardless of who ends up winning the election that took place yesterday, the simple fact that the president and members of Congress can stop campaigning now means they have more time to devote to things that might spur the economy -- such as passing a second stimulus bill and cutting another round of $1,200 checks to American taxpayers. With Black Friday just around the corner and Christmas not far behind it, that would only be good news for companies like Mastercard, Shopify, and PayPal.