The stock market’s election year performance between July 31 and Oct. 31 has often accurately predicted the next president — and this year it’s pointing to a victory by Donald Trump, if history is a guide.
Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA, says the market’s decline this fall has been a bad omen for the incumbent party and Hillary Clinton, who still holds a six point national lead in a new poll. The S&P 500 is down 2.2 percent since its close of 2,173 on July 29, a Friday and the last trading day of July.
“Going back to World War II, the S&P 500 performance between July 31 and Oct. 31 has accurately predicted a challenger victory 86 percent of the time when the stock market performance has been negative,” he said. The one time in eight that the incumbent party won with a negative stock market was in 1956, when Adlai Stevenson challenged President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Stovall said in that year, Britain and France joined with Israel in a military action against Egypt over the Suez Canal. It was also the year of the Hungarian Revolution.
“This time around if the Democrats retain the White House, I will come up with two responses. One is that history is a guide but never gospel, and two, the negative performance by the market could be a reflection of the worry of domination that a Democratic sweep would bring,” said Stovall.