The week of November 5, 2012, is opening up with a deficit of the usual economic reports from the government. This should not be a surprise to anyone since all eyes and attention in Washington D.C. and the beltway are on the pending outcome of Tuesday’s Presidential election. More importantly, thousands of people are waiting with baited breath on whether they need to be polishing their resumes or calling their connections for a new job in the federal appointment world.
Given all the political attention, the rest of the world, including finance, can pretty much hang in the wind for the first part of the week. Prognostications will abound on what the election results mean for the markets, but the truth won’t be told until there is 1) a clear winner, and 2) a clear policy direction spelled out for the country by the next President. A lot gets said on the campaign trail that never see the light of day by the following January.
That said, economic and investment soothsayers will still probably attribute a rise in conservative assets due to President Obama winning a second term. On the other hand, the risk assets will be expected to see greater demand in stocks and corporate bond yields if Romney wins and takes over. For most critics the only sure thing they are willing to agree on is if the incumbent stays in, the markets will slog along as usual. If Romney wins, a whole lot of activity will occur in any given direction. Whichever the case, as noted earlier, the markets are stuck in purgatory until the election results come in definitively.
The other point to remember is that the country is going into winter, which traditionally drives down demand for big capital spending such as home purchasing and car purchasing, aside from the usual New Year’s car sales. That in turn will dampen demand for home loans further during the winter months, creating a challenge to any significant rise in lending rates for conventional mortgages. The next big push won’t be until the spring next when the weather warms up again.