Silicon Valley investors greeted the Dow’s rise above 20,000 points last week with tentative hopes about the positive future of industries rooted in the Bay Area. Healthcare and tech investments did particularly well. By January 30, however, the S&P 500 suffered its deepest dip since President Trump took office. And the future of the market is still very much up in the air as the new administration picks up full steam.
As the home base of many big name technology companies, not to mention big name investors such as Thom Weisel (Stifel Financial), Aileen Lee (Cowboy Ventures), and Christine Tsai (500 Startups), Silicon Valley’s market movements can be indicative of what to expect with the rest of the US.
So the initial Dow movement above 20,000 points was met with much excitement, indicating as it did that the market for initial public offerings could be waking up after a long period of dormancy.
“It’s yet another sign that the public markets are open and eager for growth stories again,” said Byron Deeter of Bessemer Venture Partners. The Dow movement, combined with Cisco’s recent $3.7 billion purchase of AppDynamics, seemed to point toward a very positive market outlook.
Healthcare investments were looking up as well. Silicon Valley Bank’s Jon Norris, Managing Director of the Healthcare Practice, noted that biopharma, medical devices, and diagnostics/tools were set to do particularly well, driving investments in 2017.
The honeymoon didn’t last, however. On Monday, January 30, equities in the S&P 500 Index fell 1.2% amidst the biggest stock selloff since Trump’s inauguration. From airlines to software companies, the market shuddered in response to Trump’s immigration ban and the uncertainty of his future plans for trade and international relations. For Silicon Valley in particular, the possibility of future crackdowns on antitrust scrutiny—likely to hit Google hard—were reflected in market fluctuations.
Ups and downs in the market, particularly in the areas of technology and healthcare, are pretty par for the course no matter who’s controlling Washington. Still, Silicon Valley investors are particularly tense at the moment, waiting to see how everything will play out once the dust settles.