Not surprisingly, just as Presidents Obama and Bush did before him, Trump is anxious to complete as much of his legislative agenda as possible before the mid-term elections. While this is pragmatic, it goes counter to traditional 4-year election cycle theory which advocates making the tough spending choices in the first two years, in order to then spend to achieve maximum growth heading into the next presidential election. If the US economy is still growing in 2020, it will be the longest economic expansion in over 100 years. Equally, if the bull market in stocks continues without a down year, it too will break the previous record (1991–2000) by three years. While these scenarios are certainly not impossible, we think they make for a potentially challenging presidential election year for the incumbent in 2020.

This article was written by Rod Smyth, Chief Investment Strategist, and Kevin Nicholson, Chief Market Strategist, at RiverFront Investment Group, a participant in the ETF Strategist Channel.

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