It was perhaps the most surprising trade in a record-setting week on Wall Street - how quickly investors swapped presidential pre-election jitters for enthusiasm at Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton.

That enthusiasm - call it the Trump rally - ultimately propelled the Dow Jones industrial average to consecutive all-time highs last week and gave the Standard and Poor's 500 index its biggest weekly gain in two years.

"So far, equity markets have taken the Trump victory as good news, and are factoring in higher inflation, stronger US growth and higher interest rates," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.

"A more pragmatic vibe from Trump in his speeches and meetings since election day has also helped calm markets down after an initial negative reaction."


In New Zealand the S&P NZX 50 Index dropped 0.5 per cent on Friday and was down 0.16 per cent for the week. The index has dropped 11.5 per cent from its record high of 7571, struck in September.

High-yielding defensive stocks, which have been at the forefront of the local market's record-breaking rally in recent years, bore the brunt of selling.

In that camp were Spark, which dropped 2.65 per cent on Friday to close at $3.30 and Auckland International Airport, which lost 3.3 per cent to finish at $6.11.

"When you compare us with the US our market is still lagging in a big way," Lister said. "We have not seen the resurgence in our market at all."

Analysts said the likely reason for the gap in performance was the high proportion of yield-sensitive stocks in the local market, which were starting to look less attractive.

For months, investors viewed Trump and his proposed agenda as a more risky bet for the US economy and the markets than his rival, who had been widely perceived as the candidate most likely to keep the status quo in place.

But then the billionaire won. And, more importantly, Republicans retained majorities in the House and Senate, ensuring that the president-elect's party will be in control when he takes office on January 20.

"I don't think people planned on a straight Republican sweep," said J.J. Kinahan, TD Ameritrade's chief strategist.

"All of a sudden you realise some of the things that the markets have been wishing for have a chance to be done. That's why we've rallied so much. This scenario was such a low probability, nobody was planning for it." Investors are now betting that Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress will have a clear pathway to boost infrastructure spending, cut taxes and relax regulations that affect energy, finance and other businesses.

That agenda flipped US investors' priorities away from defensive assets like bonds, utilities and phone companies, which traders had favoured for much of this year, to health care, industrial and financial stocks, which notched their best week since 2009.

"You're seeing strength in those sectors that are going to be best positioned for those changes," said David Lyon, global investment specialist at JP Morgan Private Bank.

"There's been a massive shift toward a pro-growth bias within portfolios."

- additional reporting: AP