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Here's How The S&P 500 Moved The Last 5 Times An Election Winner Wasn't Decided By Midnight

Here's How The S&P 500 Moved The Last 5 Times An Election Winner Wasn't Decided By Midnight

Investors hoping to know the next president of the United States on Wednesday will have to wait a little bit longer as votes are still being counted in key swing states in an election that is too close to call.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) traded higher Wednesday, and there’s certainly plenty of precedent for U.S. elections that weren’t decided by the end of the day on Election Day.

In fact, the most recent presidential election in 2016 wasn’t officially conceded until around 10:30 a.m. on the day after the election.

In 2004, Democratic nominee John Kerry didn’t give his official concession call until Wednesday afternoon. And of course, everyone remembers the 2000 election in which the U.S. Supreme Court officially ended Democrat Al Gore’s recount efforts on Dec. 12, more than one month after the election.

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The Numbers: Americans didn’t know the election results by midnight of Election day in 1960, 1968, 1976, 2000, 2004 or 2016. Here’s a look at how the S&P 500 traded in each of those election weeks:

1960: +1.7%

1968: +0.8%

1976: -2%

2000: -4.2%

2004: +3.1%

The S&P 500 averaged a 0.1% decline in the election weeks when the official winner was not declared on Election Day.

Unfortunately, it seems very likely at this point the election results will not be determined on Wednesday, suggesting the 2020 race could most closely resemble 2000.

In the month following Election Day 2000, the S&P 500 dropped 6.1% during the recounts and court cases that followed.

Benzinga’s Take: One key difference between 2020 and 2000 may be just how much the possibility of a contested election was already priced into the market.

Back in 2000, nobody anticipated there would be no clear election winner a month after the election. Yet analysts and experts have been discussing the possibility of a contested 2020 election for months, and much of that risk may have already been priced into stocks ahead of Election Day.

A scene from the 2000 presidential election recount in Palm Beach County, Florida. Photo by Dtobias via Wikimedia


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