Jessica Noviskis, CFA
Though it has so far taken somewhat of a backseat to the COVID-19 pandemic and global protests for racial justice, 2020 is a U.S. presidential election year. As can be seen in the chart, over the last year and the last several months in particular, the S&P 500 has generally moved in line with expectations for Trump’s reelection this November.¹ As the complicated debate over whether the stock market performs better under a Republican or Democratic president continues, the historical numbers show that the market does notably better in an election year when a Republican wins the seat. While there are always many moving pieces, this makes sense, as Republicans are often considered more pro-business and pro-market than Democrats.
Now into June, that correlation has completely reversed. The S&P 500 has continued its recovery, getting back to flat on the year before last Thursday’s correction, while chances of a 2020 Republican victory have hit new lows. Though based on only two weeks of data — and with another almost five months until the election — it is an interesting departure from historical trends. Voters certainly have a lot to grapple with over the next several months and we will continue to follow all developments closely as history is made.
¹As measured by data from political betting site PredictIt: “Which party will win the 2020 U.S. presidential election?”
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