In our deep-dive report, we provide analysis of how the market performs around U.S. elections, as well as an update on the state of the 2024 race.
Election years see pockets of negative returns as political uncertainty increases. On average, election years see the second lowest market returns during presidential terms (+0.54% average monthly return). However, markets quickly play catch up after election year uncertainty is resolved, averaging a monthly return of 1.28% the year after the election.
January to March in an election year historically see negative returns as the primary process hits its peak heading into Super Tuesday (-0.44% average monthly return). The most significant downside risk is seen in the immediate period prior to the election around October heading into Election Day, with an average monthly return of -1.27%.
Democratic presidential win expectations drive more downside risk, but typically see an outsized positive rotation in the first 100 days. Expectations of a Democratic presidential win historically see more of a downside for markets in an election year (-3.46% pre-election) and a greater degree of a positive rotation in the first 100 days of a Democratic presidency.
Markets on average rise 1.75% monthly in the year following a Democratic presidential win, compared to 0.88% for Republicans.
Expectations of a partisan sweep in either direction drives more volatility. Markets perform worse ahead of an election where one party is seen as a favorite to sweep the White House and Congress, regardless of party control (-3.01% monthly returns pre-election). Divided government expectations set the conditions for calmer waters, with positive average returns ahead of an election and in the years after.
State of the race. In this report we provide an update on the state of the race and how a 2020 rematch remains the most likely scenario – but many potential wildcards remain.
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