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Stocks Almost Always Rise Before an Election. Not This Year

  • S&P 500 rose before 20 of last 22 presidential votes
  • Benchmark index caps eighth straight decline as anxiety mounts
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Global Stocks Decline Amid Election Jitters

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The 2016 election has confounded pundits, upended precedent and now it’s spurring unusual patterns in the U.S. equity market. To wit: stocks almost always rise in the days before the country picks a president. This year, they’re falling.

The S&P 500 Index has advanced in the five days before the vote in 20 of the past 22 cycles, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Bespoke Investment Group LLC. While the gauge has climbed an average 1.9 percent in the run-up to elections going back to 1928, it’s down 1.8 percent since Monday, with two market days left until polls open Nov. 8. The index fell 0.4 percent Thursday, to 2,088.66 at 4 p.m. in New York., slumping to the lowest since July 5 as losses accelerated in the late afternoon.