By LPL Research
One of the top requests we’ve had here at LPL Research is for more charts on the election. Over the next week, we will share some of our favorite charts on this very important subject.
Here’s how the S&P 500 Index performs under various presidents and congressional makeups. The best scenario has historically been a Democratic president and Republican Congress, while a Republican president and Democratic Congress has been the weakest.
Building on this, a split Congress historically has been one of the best scenarios for investors.
The best scenario under a Republican president is a split Congress, a potential positive for 2020 that has played out after the massive reversal in the stock market since March.
Looking at the four-year presidential cycle shows that stocks haven’t been down during a year the president was up for a re-election since FDR in the 1940s, another bullish tailwind for 2020.
Here’s another look at this, as stocks historically have done much better when there isn’t a lame-duck president.
How stocks perform three months before the election has a stellar track record of predicting who will win in November. If stocks are higher, the incumbent party tends to win, while if stocks are lower, the incumbent party tends to lose. This indicator accurately predicted the winner 87% of the time (20 of 23) since the late 1920s.
Building on this, if President Donald Trump is going to win, right about now is when the S&P 500 Index should start to outperform. Of course, if it weakens, it could mean we will be looking at a President Joe Biden soon.
Speaking of presidents up for re-election, here’s what the S&P 500 historically has done during re-election years.
Lastly, here are two final charts that may help forecast the outcome.
If real per capita disposable income is higher, the incumbent president usually wins. Conversely, if wages are weak, that bodes well for someone new in the White House. Given real per capita, disposable income is up more than 7% this year, it would suggest President Trump should take more than 70% of the votes. Of course, this is greatly skewed due to the CARES Act, so we’d put a major asterisk next to this one.
To sum up, Gallup poll approval ratings have done a nice job of predicting how many votes a president up for re-election might get. With a 42% Gallup approval rating currently, this comes out to 49% of the total votes for President Trump, which points to a close race.
For more of our thoughts on the election, please watch our latest LPL Market Signals podcast below.
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All index and market data from FactSet and MarketWatch.
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