Market Insider

The 'best six months' for stocks? Probably not this year

People wait in line to cast their ballots as others vote at the Potomac Community Recreation Center during early voting on Oct. 28, 2016, in Potomac, Md.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

Blame the presidential election for hurting stock markets.

It's not just that this election is unprecedented in many ways — which it is — but it's also that every time Americans have voted for a new president in recent decades, markets tend to slog their way through November rather than climb.

In Novembers during presidential election years, the S&P 500 falls short of the overall November average, rising 56 percent of the time with an average* return of about half a percent, according to analysis of the last nine presidential elections using Kensho. That's a little better than a coin-flip chance for a slight monthly gain.

In contrast, the average return more than doubles to 1.7 percent and the market rises nearly three-fourths of the time in non-U.S. presidential election years, the data showed.

"There's a lot of fear and there's a lot of angst and there's a lot of uncertainty," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network. "Once the election is over, people are going to feel better regardless of the outcome."