Chances are you've heard that the market "always does well in the final months of election years." To quantify this, below we highlight the performance of the S&P 500 from the end of the shortened Labor Day work week to the end of the year during all election years since World War II. As the chart shows, the market has gone higher 12 out of the last 15 times, and the average change is +2.94%.
There have been down years, however. In 1948, the S&P 500 went down 4% from the Friday after Labor Day to the end of the year. In 1956, the market went down 2.38%, and recently in 2000, it went down 11.66%.
The best election-year performance was 12.97% in 1996, followed by 1980, 2004 and 1972.
click to enlarge