Trump’s diagnosis fuels uncertainty for skittish U.S. stock market

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(Reuters) – Investors are gauging how a potential deterioration in President Donald Trump’s health could impact asset prices in coming weeks, as the U.S. leader remains hospitalized after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks from the Marine One helicopter followed by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as he arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the White House announced that he “will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days” after testing positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S., October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

So far, markets have been comparatively sanguine: hopes of a breakthrough in talks among U.S. lawmakers on another stimulus package took the edge off a stock market selloff on Friday, with the S&P 500 losing less than 1% and so-called safe-haven assets seeing limited demand. News of Trump’s hospitalization at a military medical center outside Washington, where he remained on Saturday, came after trading ended on Friday.

Many investors are concerned, however, that a serious decline in Trump’s health less than a month before Americans go to the polls on Nov. 3 could roil a U.S. stock market that recently notched its worst monthly performance since its selloff in March while causing turbulence in other assets.

If the president’s health is in jeopardy, there’s “too much uncertainty in the situation for the markets just to shrug it off,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird.

The various outcomes investors currently envision run the gamut from a quick recovery that bolsters Trump’s image as a fighter to a drawn-out illness or death stoking uncertainty and drying up risk appetite across markets.

Should uncertainty persist, technology and momentum stocks that have led this year’s rally