U.S. stocks set to drop…but not crash

NEW YORK - U.S. stocks are set to welcome President-elect Donald Trump with sharp declines -- but not the crash that many feared.

Overnight, there was a knee-jerk panic in global markets as it became clear Trump was about to pull off a stunning upset by defeating Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's favored candidate. Dow futures plummeted nearly 900 points at one point as investors expressed fear about the inherent policies brought on by a Trump White House.

But a sense of relative calm seemed to return to the markets ahead of the opening bell on Wednesday morning. The Dow was on track to drop 230 points. The S&P 500 futures are down 1.1%, while the Nasdaq is down 1.5%.

This is hardly a freakout. In fact, the projected losses aren't even enough to wipe out the gains experienced on Monday when markets incorrectly bet Clinton's odds had improved.

Market strategists said the lack of a panic is due in part to hope that Trump will focus on policies that can help the economy, instead of more disruptive ideas like scrapping NAFTA.

"The rhetoric that was talked about on the campaign trail was pretty scary. The nationalism and protectionism," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

"But there's a big difference between what you say campaigning and what you do as president," Hogan said.