Midterm elections’ stock market surge – an unintentional gift from US politicians
The paper provides evidence for the existence of a midterm election effect on the US equity market. By examining the quarterly total returns on the S&P 500 Index between 1954 and 2017, we show that, nine times out of 10, the index has been positive in the fourth quarter of a midterm election year and the following two quarters. This compounds to nearly 25% in those three quarters. Neither changes in the monetary nor the fiscal policies were able to explain the effect. Moreover, the authors show that the known third year of a presidential term effect is weaker than the examined midterm election effect. Our results are robust for selection time period.