The Election-Year Effect: For Now, 2008 Stock Market Bucks the Trend

    by Wayne A. Thorp

    While 2008 is a presidential election year, the stock market apparently is taking no notice.

    Since 1950, stocks have risen in 13 of the 14 presidential years, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac. Likewise, according to the Seeking Alpha Web site (, the S&P 500 has gained an average of 8.6% in the fourth year of a president’s term and 3.8% in the fourth year of a president’s second term.

    However, so far this year the market has been unable to overcome a slumping housing market, rising food, oil and gasoline prices, and an anemic economy. All of these factors have contributed to the S&P 500 being down 7.3% through the first week of June of this year (Figure 1).

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