Market Politics

While keeping watch on interest rates, Wall Street is also sensitive to the winds of politics. For the past two decades the financial markets have followed a pattern: stocks rise in a presidential election year. The increases range from 17.9% in 1976, when Jimmy Carter was elected, to 4.3% in 1968, when Richard Nixon won his first term.

So far at least, this election year has been a different story. Despite rallies last week and in the summer, stocks are down for 1984. At its close last week, the Dow Jones industrial average was 32.71...

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