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Farrell: A Green Shoot is a Green Shoot

My favorite new index is the Architectural Billings Index.

The what? Yeah, the old reliable ABI. I never heard of it, but it's now my favorite.

It's one of those that has 50 as the line between expansion and contraction, and last month it soared, absolutely soared, to 50.4. It measures the design and construction industry, and "new projects" went to 62.3 from 54.6. I have no idea if this survey has a history of reliability and predictability, but right now, I don't care.

A green shoot is a green shoot, and maybe we are on to something new.

NYSE trader
Oliver Quilla for CNBC.com
NYSE trader

The beige book was released Wednesday afternoon.

Or as my pal, Art Cashin, and I call it, the tan book.

That's what it was called a hundred years ago when Art and I started and if it was a good name then, it's a good name now.

It is an anecdotal summary of activity in the 12 separate Federal Reserve districts. The interesting phrase was "economic activity continued to rise, albeit at a modest pace, from September to October." This is in contrast to there were "widespread signs of a deceleration compared with the preceding periods." The book is dozens of pages with a fair amount of detail, but that one phrase is a good enough encapsulation. There was nothing in the report that would change Ben's mind about another round of QE II.

The aforementioned Mr. Cashin passed along some market statistics the other day that are pertinent now, at election time.

For the last 50 years, the market (S&P average) rose 21.3% a year when there was a Democratic President and a Republican Congress (both houses); and 7.1% a year with a Republican President and a Democratic Congress.

When the White House and the Congress were both dominated by the same party (no matter Republican or Democrat; just the same party), the market was up 10.7% annually. But when there was a split Congress and no matter which party was in the White House, the market had its worst performance at 6.2% a year.

Pundits say the Republicans will win big in the House and the Democrats will narrowly retain the Senate. I guess from history's view, we should root for the Republicans to take the Senate as well.

Vincent Farrell, Jr. is chief investment officer at Soleil Securities Group and a regular contributor to CNBC.