Market Volatility as Election Predictor

I love the fact that mathematics is putting traditional pollster bullshit out of the job during this election cycle. Witness the hatred of Nate Silver’s data-driven work for the Times and FiveThirtyEight.

Here’s another stat worth considering via Bloomberg:

Swings in U.S. stocks have shrunk to the lowest level in six years, an indicator that has most often coincided with incumbent parties keeping the presidency in data going back to 1900.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained or lost 0.54 percent a day on average this year, the smallest fluctuations for an election year since George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in 2004, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Daily changes have trailed the 112-year average of 0.75 percent in 13 of 17 instances when incumbents won, compared with six of 11 times the parties lost, the data show.

While volatility doesn’t predict winners, its decline shows less concern that prices will be whipsawed by economic news, a potential benefit for President Barack Obama. At the same time, the Dow’s 65 percent rally since he took office never pushed it above the record 14,164.53 reached in October 2007. No Democrat since World War II has held on to the White House with the Dow this far from its peak.

Hmmm….

The irony is that I fully expect the return of volatility immediately after the election noise settles down next week. Oh well.

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