Happy Halloween! Are you scared yet? A lot of Americans are – and not just because of the Halloween themed episodes on prime-time television. An Associated Press / GfK Poll suggests that Americans are in a panic about the election. More than half of American’s are scared by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency. Hillary Clinton’s numbers are just about the same – the same poll suggests that 44% of us are afraid of a Clinton presidency.
What’s worse? Financial markets hate uncertainty, and the recent news is injecting uncertainty into the market environment. The Friday bombshell from FBI Directory James Comey, regarding the additional emails found during the investigation of Anthony Weiner, significantly changed the election odds. Up until last Friday, most pundits and analysts were reasonably sure that Clinton would be elected based on the polling. If you look at a graph of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (or any other market index) from Friday, you can clearly see Comey’s statement came out at 1 pm based on the huge dip in the market. The dip in the market doesn’t necessarily mean that investors would prefer Clinton as president, but the uncertainty about who takes on the mantle will always be a stressor.
No matter if our country takes a jump to the left with Hillary Clinton or a step to the right with Donald Trump, millions of us are going to have to absorb a lot of anxiety about the future. Who had the bright idea of putting election season during our national celebration of fear?