The Market Does Not Care Who Wins The Election

Earlier this week, I published an article entitled “Sentiment Speaks: This Is What The Market Is Saying About Trump's Re-Election.”  Within the article, I attempted to outline the probabilities that Trump would get re-elected based upon historical data (presented by Bob Prechter) as suggested by market sentiment.

While I began that article noting that the analysis does not present a political assessment or opinion, most of you took the opportunity to do otherwise. 

I found it quite interesting that almost every person who commented felt the need to offer their assessment as to who was going to win the election, and much of it was based upon their feelings of personal bias.   Moreover, most of these feelings were then bolstered by reasons that are constantly regurgitated and parroted by media outlets 24/7.   So, each person massaged the facts as they saw them to support their personal bias.  This clearly reminded me about what Andrew Lang said many years ago:  "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."

But, I have news for you folks.  I think you missed the entire premise of the article.  You see, the market does not give a damn about who wins the election.  Rather, the market is driven by the same sentiment which directs our voting decisions.  When the market is in a rally mode during the period prior to the election, it supports a general positive sentiment for society, which, based upon historical probabilities, suggests that the incumbent is re-elected.  And, when the market is trending down, well, the opposite is true. 

Yet, many of you argued that sentiment is not positive based upon your feelings on the matter.  However, there was a recent Gallup poll which showed that 56% of those surveyed felt that they are better off today than they were 4 years ago.  And, as I said, the stock market was showing this to us without needing that poll.

Moreover, when we review the stock market as a whole, it really does not care who is sitting behind the desk in the oval office, as exogenous factors are not nearly as weighty as so many believe.  I am going to repost one of the many studies which outlines this perspective quite well:

“Stock markets are fascinating structures with analogies to what is arguably the most complex dynamical system found in natural sciences, i.e., the human mind. Instead of the usual interpretation of the Efficient Market Hypothesis in which traders extract and incorporate consciously (by their action) all information contained in market prices, we propose that the market as a whole can exhibit an “emergent” behavior not shared by any of its constituents. In other words, we have in mind the process of the emergence of intelligent behavior at a macroscopic scale that individuals at the microscopic scales have no idea of. This process has been discussed in biology for instance in the animal populations such as ant colonies or in connection with the emergence of consciousness.”

If you really take the time to understand what is being uncovered through much of the recent studies (like the one presented above) about how biology controls our decisions within the financial market, you will understand Ralph Nelson Elliott’s statements proclaimed 80 years ago:

“Civilization rests upon change.   This change is cyclical in origin and characteristics.   A rhythmic series of extreme changes constitutes a cycle.  When a cycle has been completed, another cycle is started.  The rhythm of the new cycle will be the same as that of the previous cycle, although the extent and duration may vary.  The cycle progresses in accordance with the natural law of movement . . .”

“The causes of these cyclical changes seem clearly to have their origin in the immutable natural law that governs all things, including the various moods of human behavior. Causes, therefore, tend to become relatively unimportant in the long term progress of the cycle.  This fundamental law cannot be subverted or set aside by statutes or restrictions.  Current news and political developments are of only incidental importance, soon forgotten; their presumed influence on market trends is not as weighty as is commonly believed. . .”  

"At best, the news is the tardy recognition of forces that have already been at work for some time and is startling only to those unaware of the trend....kings have been assassinated, there have been wars, rumors of wars, booms, panics, bankruptcies, New Era, New Deal, "trust busting", and all sorts of historic and emotional developments. Yet all bull markets acted in the same way, and likewise all bear markets evinced similar characteristics that controlled and measured the response of the market to any type of news as well as the extent and proportions of the component segments of the trend as a whole. These characteristics can be appraised and used to forecast future action of the market, regardless of the news....Those who regard news as the cause of market trends would probably have better luck gambling at race tracks than in relying on their ability to guess correctly the significance of outstanding news items....To sum up our view, then, the market essentially *is* the news."

When viewed from this perspective, while you may assume it is “reasonable” to believe that the person occupying the oval office makes a difference in the larger degree movements for the market, you may want to reconsider your perspective.

While I can provide many more studies to support my perspective (and have done so in the past), I am just going to cite one example from my own personal experience.  

As we were approaching the end of 2015, I was highlighting to our members that I expected the market to drop from the 2100SPX region down to the 1800SPX region.   But, more importantly, I also outlined that this pullback will set up a “global-melt-up,” which would propel the S&P500 to 2600+ on its way to 3000SPX.  Moreover, I specifically highlighted that it made no difference who won the election in 2016.

Now, for those of you that remember that time period, the common perception was that if Donald Trump won the election, the market would crash, but if Clinton won the election the market would rally.  And, again, as we moved towards November of 2016, I continually reiterated my perspective that we are set up to rally to 2600+, and it mattered not who won in November.  It was clearly a very contrarian expectation, as most from both sides of the aisle thought me to be quite crazy to maintain such an expectation.  Well, it is not the first time one of my prognostications was considered crazy, yet we all know what happened. 

When you take a broader view of the market, and you research the recent studies being conducted as to what really drives our stock market, you will have an epiphany and wonder why you were ever taken in by all the “common-speak” that you hear on television and that you read in the print, especially since, deep down, you know much of it is superficial and worthless when trying glean market direction prospectively. 

Now, I will say this again, as I did in 2016:  I do not believe it will matter to the market who wins in 2020.  As long as the market retains the current structure we are now tracking, we will likely see a massive rally into 2021 no matter who wins.  And, my next upside target is the 4000-4250SPX region, on our way to much higher targets in the coming years.

Now, for anyone who thinks I am a perma-bull, I would suggest you do a little due diligence about my analysis.  I am neither perma-bull, nor perma-bear: I am simply perma-profit.

My goal is to maintain on the correct side of the market the great majority of the time.  And, those that have followed our work over the long term know very well that we meet our goals. 

So, while you may be tempted to review the prognostications regarding who is leading in the latest polls, and attempting to extrapolate what that may mean to the market, I would strongly urge you to turn off the television.   Rather, it would be much more worthwhile to review the chart as to the current market structure, while focusing on support and resistance.  Just as it was the most profitable course of action in 2016, so will it likely be in 2020.   

As it stands right now, the next two weeks will provide us with the information to make decisions about the path the market will take to our next target in the 4000-4250SPX region.  And, there is nothing I am able to see within the market structure which would suggest that the winner of the 2020 election will have any significant impact upon that potential.  But, also please note that the larger degree path is pointing to 4000-4250 into 2021, and the question for me is really only of the near-term path as to how we get there.

In the near term, support is in the 3439-3466SPX region.  I would expect the market to test that support, and as long as the bulls pass that test, it would set us up to rally to the 3582-3627SPX region next.  However, if the market fails that important test of support, it will open the door to retest the 3050SPX region in the coming weeks.

But, even if the market passes that test in the coming week or so, there still remains some potential for us to still drop to the 3050SPX region before we begin the rally to 4000+.  And much depends upon whether we complete 5 waves up off the low struck in September before we break down below the cited support.  You see, if the market completes 5 waves up off the September low before breaking support, it would suggest that all pullbacks will hold over the September low, and we will likely begin the rally to 4000+ sooner rather than later.  However, if we break down below the 3439/66SPX support before we complete that 5-wave structure, it would suggest that we will likely see a pullback towards the 3050 lower support level before we begin that rally to 4000+. 

So, while many of you will continue to argue about who will win the election, and base your arguments upon your clear biases, I am simply looking to the market to provide the truly important clues as to when we begin the next rally phase to 4000, while tuning out all the noise.  For the sake of your own sanity and mental health, you may want to consider doing the same.

Avi Gilburt is founder of ElliottWaveTrader.net.