One Last Batch of Election Data

If you’re like me, then you’re probably really sick of hearing about the election and just want it to be over already.

Fortunately, that day has finally arrived…which gives me one last chance to write about the election!

By now many of you have already cast your votes. So here are a few more data points to remember as you settle in for a night of rooting for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney to win – and savoring the sudden lack of political ads now that it’s all over but the counting.

Much of this data is courtesy of the Stock Trader’s Almanac:

  • The first two years of an election cycle are historically less bullish than the last two. Since 1833, net gains in the first two years after an election are 273% – less than half the 718% net gain achieved in the final two years of an election cycle.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second term in office produced the worst post-election year ever for the markets: 32.8%. But don’t panic if that happens in 2013. Despite a horrid year for stocks in 1937, FDR is still one of only five presidents under which stocks achieved at least 60% gains. The 66.7% returns in the year after he was first elected as president (1933) are an all-time best.
  • Years after an election are more often bad than good for investors. Of the 44 elections since 1833, only 20 of them have been followed by an “up” year for the Dow Jones Industrial index.
  • In the 17 elections since 1944, the S&P 500 has risen by an average of 1.7% the month before the election (October) when the incumbent retains office. When incumbents lose, it usually follows a bad month – an average loss of -1.8% – for stocks.

So, with the S&P down 2.2% this October, does that mean a Romney victory is imminent?

Mercifully, we’ll know in a matter of hours.

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