Market Insider

Stocks may fare better today than they did in the last two elections

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As the votes started to swing in Donald Trump's favor overnight, Dow futures made some pretty stunning moves — at one point plummeting more than 800 points.

The plunge suggested markets had not expected a Trump victory and would be in for a wild ride Wednesday as investors digested the results of the U.S. elections.

Since then, futures narrowed their losses and were down about 286 points, or 1.6 percent.

Still, volatile trading is not unusual the day after an election. While the 2012 presidential race was arguably much less tumultuous, the markets still made some big moves.

Obama's win in 2012

On Nov. 7, 2012, the Dow shed 312.95, or 2.4 percent, the S&P 500 tumbled 33.86, or 2.4 percent, and Nasdaq slipped 41.71, or 1.4 percent

So, based on where futures were recently, Wednesday could be actually "better" than what occurred in 2012.

Obama's win in 2008

How about 2008?

That was the election that put Barack Obama into the White House — and it occurred during the midst of the financial crisis. On Nov. 5, 2008, the day after that election, the Dow fell 486.01, or 5.1 percent, while the S&P 500 lost 52.98, or 5.3 percent; and Nasdaq fell 98.48, or 5.5 percent.

Bush's win over Kerry in 2004

The last day-after-election day to see the stock market rise occurred in 2004, when incumbent President George W. Bush defeated his Democratic rival John Kerry, then a senator from Massachusetts and now U.S. Secretary of State.

Although Bush's margin of victory in the popular vote was the smallest ever by a re-elected president, the markets looked on the victory favorably. The Dow gained 101.32, or 1.0 percent; the S&P 500 gained 12.55 or 1.1 percent; and Nasdaq added 19.54, or 1.0 percent.

So — today's markets are currently on pace to perform better than they did in 2012 and 2008.