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Six Key Stock Market Questions for the Rest of the Year

Typically, the government has allowed growth to slow in years prior so it can accelerate during transition years without risking hyperinflation.

This trend was evident last year as officials took measures to stymie high inflation rates.

Now, it appears China's hitting the throttle. New yuan loans, imports, fixed asset investment, industrial production and retail sales have increased recently -- all while inflation has remained relatively benign.

In recent weeks, we've seen the following fiscal and monetary stimulus from the Chinese government: official statements planning to fast-track infrastructure projects, reports of higher bank loan quotas, delaying implementation of Basel III capital requirements for banks, relaxing housing restrictions, new consumption subsidies for cars and appliances, and tax changes to stimulate spending (to name only a few).

As the year wears on, we expect to see more of the same -- an overall accommodative government using its tools to boost growth. China's GDP growth may not accelerate from last year, but we expect the stepped-up stimulus should foster stronger growth than many expect.

Will High Unemployment Hinder U.S. Economic Growth?

At 8.2% (as of May), unemployment continues weighing on many folks' minds. However, unemployment regularly lags economic growth -- often for years.

This time's likely no different. Growth creates the need for new hiring, not the other way around, so still-elevated unemployment likely lacks material power to stymie ongoing economic growth. And as time wears on and U.S. economic growth continues (GDP is at all-time highs), the employment picture should continue improving.

What Does the U.S. Presidential Election Mean for Stocks?

Regardless of the victor in November, history suggests a nice outcome for stocks this year. For starters, election years are typically pretty good for stocks.

Even better, this year we either re-elect a Democrat or newly elect a Republican, making it a likely sweet spot for stocks: Since 1928, the S&P 500 has risen 14.5% in years a Democrat is re-elected and 18.8% when a Republican takes the reins. The only negative election year when either a new Republican or an incumbent Democrat won was when FDR was re-elected -- for his third term.
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