The Morning Brief: Elliott’s Paul Singer Jumps on the Trump Train

Another Donald Trump hater has twisted 180 degrees and is now embracing the president-elect. Elliott Management’s Paul Singer attended a fundraising breakfast hosted by Trump Wednesday at New York’s Cipriani, according to CNBC. In fact, the hedge fund veteran is said to be giving a substantial amount of money to Trump’s inauguration in January, according to the report. Remember, the longtime Republican supporter had earlier asserted that if Trump were elected, a “global depression” is “close to a guarantee.” Perhaps Singer shifted his entire portfolio to be short various global markets before he left for the breakfast.


Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and other drug companies favored by hedge funds fell sharply Wednesday after Donald Trump took a page out of his former nemesis Hillary Clinton’s playbook and attacked the rising costs of drugs. Trump told Time magazine after the election that he doesn’t “like what’s happened with drug prices” and that he will “bring down” the cost of prescription medication, according to the report.

It was comments like this by Clinton in September 2015 that spooked drug stocks, which have been hard-pressed to recover ever since. Many Trump supporters who are bullish on Trump’s economic plans have cited, in part, the fact that he is not attacking drug companies. Well, now this situation has changed. Shares of Valeant fell 3.5 percent on Wednesday, to close at $15.08. Pfizer, the largest U.S. long of Maverick Capital, fell 1.17 percent, to close at $31.19. The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF fell 2.6 percent.


Trump had yet another effect on hedge funds on Wednesday. Shares of Sprint surged more than 9 percent, to close at $8.11, after Trump jointly announced on Tuesday with Softbank president and Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son that Sprint plans to invest $50 billion in the United States and hire 50,000 people. This surprise development revived hopes that Sprint may be able to complete a merger with T-Mobile once Trump takes over as president. The Justice Department has already rejected the deal on antitrust grounds. Among the largest shareholders are Discovery Capital Management and Jericho Capital Asset Management.


Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management bought more than 3.7 million shares of Wendy’s, boosting its stake in the fastfood chain to nearly 60.6 million shares, or about 23.57 percent of the outstanding.