Can American markets break their nine-day slide on the day before Election Day? Based on historical data and the fact that S&P 500 is up 1.5 percent since the market opened this morning — likely on the news the FBI's latest look into Hillary Clinton's e-mails has ended — investors should expect to see some solid gains today.
Since Oct. 25, the S&P 500 has been on a downward spiral, claiming the most consecutive negative days the index has had in 35 years. While the loss was modest — it fell by about 3 percent over the nine days — the drop has naturally made jittery investors even more nervous about what might happen around Election Day. It doesn't help that the NASDAQ was also down nine days in a row, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average had a week of straight losses.
While markets may be reacting positively to the latest political news — equities have tended to rise when Clinton has had an edge and fall when she doesn't — even if nothing new happened, equities likely still would have climbed, at least according to a decade of past performance.
According to Jeffrey Hirsch, who runs the Stock Trader's Almanac website, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 have climbed the day before an election 81.3 percent of the time since 1952, rising by 0.41 percent and 0.33 percent, respectively. Markets have also climbed 56.3 percent of the time on Election Day itself, with the DJIA rising, on average, by 0.24 percent and the S&P 500 by 0.22 percent.