The Campaign Spot

The Obama Markets

On Election Day 2008, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9,625.
On Inauguration Day 2009, the DJIA closed at 7,949.09.
Today the Dow is at 7,342, down 124 points on the day, and down 600 points in the month since Obama became president. (By the time you read this, it will have changed, of course.)
Many factors affect stock prices on any given day, but to the extent that the market has responded to Obama’s election and taking office, it has been in one steady direction: down.
Doesn’t the message seem clear? With massive government borrowing, with higher taxes seen as inevitable, with the government taking from those who did pay their mortgages to bail out those who didn’t, with details of much-touted financial rescues still sparse, with demonization of American businesses . . . who in their right mind would want to invest in a company right now? Why buy stock in companies that are going to be punished six ways to Sunday by an ever-growing government?
(Okay, those want to buy low and sell high would be buying now. But overall, investors are saying they see the nation’s economic conditions as getting worse, with not much improvement in sight: shrinking or disappearing profits and dividends, continued drops in stock prices, and a bigger tax bite when you do make money. Why bother, then?)

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