(Reuters) - The result of Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election will separate winners and losers across economic sectors and could determine which stocks will advance or decline in equity markets.
Below is a breakdown of the possible implications by sector of a victory by either Democratic President Barack Obama or his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney.
* Alternative Energy: Obama has said he will continue to support development of renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind, but he will need the support of Congress to extend or renew tax breaks that have underpinned the growth of those industries.
* Chemicals: Producers are concerned that an Obama victory would mean a host of new regulations they say add undue costs and burden onto their businesses.
* Coal: The industry feels that tougher Environmental Protection Agency regulation under Obama has stifled the coal industry. Industry groups say coal plants that make up 3 percent of U.S. power generation capacity are due to be retired and there is no scope for new plants to be built under an Obama-run EPA.
* Finance: Financial reforms in the Dodd-Frank Act would likely be implemented more strictly for insurers and investment banks. Favorable tax policies for dividends and capital gains could change, affecting the profits of private equity firms.
* Healthcare: Hospitals and health insurers will benefit from the phased-in implementation of Obama’s healthcare act, which requires most individuals to have health insurance.
* Rundown: Under a Democratic government the industries most likely to benefit include healthcare facilities and services, food and staples retailers, homebuilding and life sciences tools and services, according to a note from LPL Financial.
* Chemicals: Producers are concerned that a Romney victory would mean that recent work to reauthorize existing chemical plant security standards would be voided by a plan to rework and re-legislate the standards.
* Coal: Romney signaled firm support for coal, along with natural gas and oil, on the campaign trail. He has said that under a Romney administration, the EPA would loosen industry regulations. But a victory may not be a clear one for coal. In 2003, as Massachusetts governor, Romney railed against a coal plant in the state as one that “kills people.”
* Defense: A Romney victory would put an end to $500 billion in defense budget cuts scheduled to take effect early next year and would increase spending on weapons and warships.
* Healthcare: Romney has pledged to undo Obama’s healthcare legislation on the first day of his presidency, but has not identified which parts of the legislation he would keep in place. Confusion over changing regulations would likely weigh on the shares of hospitals, insurers and drugmakers in the months to come.
* Technology: Giant tech companies such as Cisco Systems and Microsoft Corp, which each have more than $40 billion in cash overseas, could gain from a Romney victory since he would likely end or reduce the capital repatriation tax, according to UBS.
* Rundown: Under a Republican government the industries most likely to benefit include coal, oil and gas exploration and drilling, diversified financial services, specialty retailers and health insurers, according to a note from LPL Financial.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos and David Randall in New York; Editing by Jennifer Merritt and Andre Grenon