The Election Stock Market

I am sure by now, most of you are getting weary of the endless political posts on all of your social network walls.  Election season is in full swing and as a byproduct, we get a very stagnant, unpredictable stock market.

This election, more so than past, especially has created a debate among Wall Street as to how the market will respond.  Most energy and manufacturing prefer Obama.  Investment and banks want Romney.  Either way, whomever does get elected is sure to cause some volatility in the markets for a short time.  This should stabilize going into 2013.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, there are still 3 main economic factors that success in equity markets hinge on.  They are:

EUROPE HANGS ON

Many believe that credit turmoil in Europe has already been factored into our markets.  I strongly disagree.  We continue to prove that we make investment decisions in a very "reactionary" process.  If credit defaults began to occur in Europe, you better believe this will hit home and strong.  There is nothing worse for the US than a big reminder of what carrying a lot of debt can do to an economy.  To keep a favorable trading market, we need Europe to hang on.

UNEMPLOYMENT

The topic that is on everyone's mind, except that it has been the topic of political discussion.  There is a reason why both candidates focus so much on it.  There is not a more influential stat that is reported than the Unemployment rate.  Most people can't tell you what our GDP growth was this past quarter, what the Treasuries are trading at, or even what current interest rates are at.  However, most know the current national unemployment rate.  It's all fun and games until you lose your job...  This directly effects investor sentiment.  We have been slowly pecking away at it, but we need some acceleration.  This last month, we saw a drop in the rate, but only because of people actual "leaving the workforce" and no longer looking for work.  We added less than 100,000 new jobs, which won't cut it.  Unemployment is the weight dragging behind market momentum, continually slowing it.

ACTION FROM THE FED

Time and time again we see the Fed pop in just when things are about to get real scary.  After the most recent employment report, reports have been buzzing with the rumors of another stimulus in the works.  Despite what the outcome of the stimulus might be, history has proven that markets love a stimulus.  Though it may be short lived, we usually enjoy a nice little bump across the board.

This season of trading will keep you on your toes.  The election is looking to be a close one and many are sitting back and waiting, including Wall Street.  Keep your tabs on the above influences as they can greatly sway markets one way or the other.  Happy Trading.

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