Only one thing is this election is for certain: the outcome will have an effect on the markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs) in one way or another.
This is the first time in 76 years that an election is taking place during a financial meltdown/crisis. Ben Steverman for BusinessWeek reports that based on recent polls, the coincidence seems to have boosted the chances that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, will defeat Republican Arizona Senator John McCain on Nov. 4.
The biggest myth concerning the stock market and the election is that the market is waiting to see who wins the election. If the polls are to be believed, there is little doubt who will win at this point in time and stock traders are used to weighing probabilities, looking at data, and making investing bets based upon them.
For example, a win for Sen. Obama would send alternative energy ETFs and stocks higher, while health care would suffer based on the notion that Obama would crack down more on high malpractice insurance costs and their effect on the overall health care industry, reports Paul R. LaMonica for CNN Money.com.
An ETF that could be impacted is Van Eck Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy (GEX).
A win for McCain, the Republican party candidate, would send aerospace and defense stocks and ETFs into the air, but coal and ethanol would wither. Nuclear energy would also benefit under McCain’s presidency.
PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy Portfolio (PKN) could be impacted in a McCain win.
As the financial headlines remind us daily, the next president will have to answer two important questions: How much will his proposals cost, and where will we get the money? This is especially true in regards to America’s aging infrastructure, which is deemed the “$1.6 Trillion Question.”
Over the next five years, we could potentially need $1.5 trillion to expand and modernize America’s infrastructure problems. Harold L. Sirkin for BusinessWeek says that infrastructure expenditures we make today are intended to work for us for the next 30 to 100 years. Investing in infrastructure creates value for the economy, which increases our competitiveness.
- iShares S&P Global Infrastructure Fund (IGF)
- Market Vectors Steel (SLX)
One simple question with no simple answer has centered around the small-business owners of the world – the “Joe the Plumbers,” if you will. First, the definition of small business varies, with a two-person enterprise qualifying, as well as a construction company with $33.5 million or less in sales, according to the Small Business Administration.
Sen. Obama’s plan would raise the marginal tax rate on incomes above $250,000 a year to 36% and 39.6%, from the current 33% and 35%, effectively returning top tax rates to their levels during the 1990s. Sen. McCain has proposed reducing corporate tax rates from 35% to 25%, but that would only potentially affect about a quarter of small-business owners, reports Amy Schatz for The Wall Street Journal.