Democrats, GOP Fail to Calm Worried Investors
In Virginia, for example, former Sen. George Allen trails former Gov. Tim Kaine by less than one percentage point. To beat Allen, Cecil said Democrats would use GOP tactics against the former senator.
"We plan on drawing a very sharp contrast, and I think if you look at the third-party ads, particularly on the Democratic side, we are not afraid to draw the contrast on debt, deficit, budget and spending in the comparison between Tim Kaine and George Allen," said Cecil.
As the past two years of Obama's term have shown, the president needs a cooperative Congress to pass significant legislation.
"You really have to look at the presidential election, the House and who is controlling the Senate ... because certain policies may want to be put in place that can't be because of the other bodies of government," said Steve Billimack, a managing director at HighTower.The outcomes in Senate races could be even more important, Billimack pointed out, because of the longer terms senators serve. Investors, he said, are committed to longer-term planning. As for the conventions, it may be interesting to see what the next generation of policy leaders may offer -- think of Obama at the 2004 Democratic convention -- but it won't drive changes in investors' portfolios, Billimack said. The question many traders may be asking is which party offers them a better opportunity to grow their money in the stock market? Historically, Democrats have provided a better boost. Since, 1900, the S&P 500 rose a median 12.1% when a Democrat was in the White House, while it rose just 5.1% during Republican administrations, wrote Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ. "So while one might say that Democrats are the 'tax and spend' party, the important part of that equation may be the 'spend.' When you spend, that usually improves the economy and increases corporate earnings," Stovall wrote in a note. Ultimately, market analysts agree that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have more of a grip on investors' attention, in the near-term, than Obama or Romney. Come Election Day, though, the worn headlines of the Fed and eurozone could finally take a back seat to fiscal choices from fresh-faced lawmakers in Washington. -- Written by Joe Deaux in Charlotte, N.C. >Contact by Email. Follow @JoeDeaux
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