Forget The Economy & The Election, "The Strength Of Stocks Is The Nation's Great Unifier"

Authored by Richard Breslow via Bloomberg,

This is a market in search of a narrative.

And the only one it can comfortably settle on is the belief, rightly or wrongly, that equities remain the best game in town. Some would argue the only one. And why not? Everyone seems to be rooting them on.

You won’t be hearing any central bankers talking about asset bubbles. Especially in December. But you will be assured that favorable financial conditions are good for one and all. “We have room to do more” isn’t a favorite punchline because of anxiety over the prospects for the upcoming non-farm payrolls numbers. If anything the whisper number is creeping up.

I was reading a research report this morning, which laid out the issues they thought would be front and center in the U.S. presidential election. All relevant. Especially during debates. But the lack of including the level of the S&P 500 seemed like an overly squeamish, and mistaken, omission.

Over the holiday, I was fascinated by three separate conversations.

They were certainly instructive.

  1. One was on a farm where everyone avowed to being a staunch Republican.

  2. Another with liberal and well-heeled suburbanites. Purportedly with mixed affiliations.

  3. And, lastly, a table of New Yorkers who claim, one and all, to be committed Democrats.

In each case, the strength of the stock market was the great unifier, and a popular subject of discussion.

Remember, the market is not the economy...

Source: Bloomberg

No matter which way you look at it...

Source: Bloomberg

No one was complaining. Or simply trying to be polite. Something to keep in mind. It made me wonder what they were actually giving thanks for. And to whom.

If you want to properly handicap election polls, you need to keep in focus what is actually on voters’ minds. Perhaps that’s why there have been so many surprises. And the U.S. isn’t the only country with choices to make.