Here’s what Trump could do to lift Apple shares to $175

Happy quadruple-witching St. Patrick’s Day. Now that’s something you don’t you get to say too often.

On this day of indulging in all that is green, it’s worth keeping an eye out for a little rattle for U.S. stocks, as we’ll get the simultaneous expiration of stock-index futures, stock-index options, stock options and single-stock futures.

That witchy event has been known to cause some volatility for equities — and there hasn’t been much of that for a while, at least when measured by the CBOE Volatility Index

VIX, -0.62%

 .

It’s been a busy week for POTUS — who has taken a lot of heat over the updated travel ban and his budget — and Friday’s G-20 meeting could bring him more flak on trade. Watch currencies as the U.S. side has been complaining over China and the euro.

That brings us to our call of the day, which lays out one reason why you may want to raise a Guinness to President No. 45.

Andy Hargreaves and the team at Pacific Crest have just raised their bull-case estimate on Apple

AAPL, +0.16%

 to $175 per share. They base that on a key campaign promise of President Donald Trump.


Last year, Trump floated the idea of a repatriation tax holiday for corporations, meaning they could bring cash held overseas back home without a huge penalty. Should that become a reality, Pacific Crest analysts see Apple boosting its domestic cash balance by $204 billion to $220 billion.

“If the U.S. allows offshore cash to be repatriated at a reduced tax rate, Apple could comfortably double or triple its regular dividend and still make a meaningful acquisition without impairing its balance sheet,” said Hargreaves and his team.

With repatriation a reality, Apple’s current dividend per share of $2.28 could easily double to around $4.56, said Pacific Crest. A higher dividend payout would help support shares if the next iPhone cycle comes in a little less frothy, as Pacific Crest and others have cautioned.

And this would help drive Apple to $175 per share, even if the next iPhone cycle is no great shakes, some analysts have said. While the Pacific Crest team lifted their best-case scenario price for Apple shares, they haven’t changed their base $140 price target.

Of course, Trump’s repatriation idea has been criticized. By Société Générale , for one, which warned last year that even if companies get a tax holiday, they may not use the cash to boost shares.

Also read: Trump’s tax holiday won’t make much of a difference without corporate-tax reform

Key market gauges

Dow

YMM7, +0.18%

 , S&P 500

ESM7, +0.05%

 and Nasdaq

NQM7, +0.12%

 futures are going nowhere. On Thursday, some post-Fed euphoria wore off, leaving the Dow

DJIA, -0.07%

 , S&P 500

SPX, -0.16%

 lower, though the Nasdaq

COMP, +0.01%

 squeaked out a positive close.

Gold

GCJ7, +0.20%

 is up a little and oil

CLJ7, +0.68%

CLJ7, +0.68%

is also moving higher.

The dollar

DXY, +0.17%

 is largely steady.

See the Market Snapshot column for the latest action.

The chart

The MSCI emerging-market index had a big day Thursday, surging more than 2% in its biggest move since July , as investors took the view that the Fed won’t be pressing the pedal to the metal on interest-rate hikes.

This chart from The Wall Street Journal’s Daily Shot shows just how well those equities have done this year, leaving the S&P 500 in their dust.


The buzz

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, will meet the world’s top financial leaders at the G-20 meeting in Germany. He’s expected to give a little push to China and maybe Germany over strong-currency issues.

Adobe

ADBE, +0.20%

 is up after earnings beat expectations.

Exxon

XOM, +0.09%

 says a New York-probe over climate-change documents are an attempt to discredit it.

German leader Angela Merkel can finally go face-to-face with Trump at the White House, in a meeting postponed from earlier this week by the East Coast snowstorm. Expect trade, Russia and immigration to crop up.

Investors may have pushed up GoPro

GPRO, +15.78%

 shares after job cuts and an upbeat revenue outlook, but analysts are less sanguine.

French biotech firm says it’s on the verge of a cure for the same cancer that killed Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs.

The economy

Industrial production and capacity utilization are coming at 9:15 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by consumer sentiment and leading indicators at 10 a.m. Eastern.

The stat

Crunching Trump’s budget numbers:

The quote
Everett Collection

Nothing to see here.

“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense. They … should be ignored.“ — That’s a spokesperson for the U.K.’s spy agency, GCHQ, commenting on a new wrinkle in the spying allegations against former President Obama.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer read out those Trump wiretapping claims, which were first made earlier in the week by Fox News legal analyst Napolitano.

Random read

Let the St Paddy’s Day tributes begin

Narrow escape for tourists, journalists from eruption of Sicily’s Mount Etna

Ambulance hijacking leaves EMT worker and mother of five dead in New York

Artist Ai Weiwei’s biggest-ever art installation is a tribute to refugees.

London’s Evening Standard is getting a new editor — ex U.K. finance minister George Osborne

The Oxford comma debate sorted, finally.

And swear away.

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