The warning that past performance is no guarantee of future results was particularly true for 2015. Up during Year 3 for the past 17 four year presidential cycles, in 2015 the S&P 500 was down 0.73%. The Dow also has not had a decline during a pre-election year since 1939.
You can see (below) that Year 1 of the 4-year presidential cycle has been the least likely time for the S&P 500 to go up:
Where are we going? To some election cycle analysis (that might not be useful but is interesting).
Presidents and Stock Markets
During 2012, former NY Times financial columnist Floyd Norris assessed stock market performance between 1900 and 2012. His goal was to see if we could predict presidential elections. His conclusion? When the stock market soars, so too will the incumbent political party…probably.
Our Bottom Line: Stock Market Indices
First published in 1896, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been composed of 30 major firms since 1928. We could call the Dow a stock “Hall of Fame” because its components, all pacesetting companies, are removed from the average when they decline.
Much more recent, the S&P was created in 1957 and rapidly became a “world standard” for market performance because of its 500 leading companies. Also an index that is updated as the economy and firms evolve, it has seven industry groups:
- Consumer Discretionary
- Telecom Svc
- Consumer Staples
- Health Care
- Information Tech
And finally, xkcd has provided an alternative image of market activity.