Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

The Economy Votes for Clinton

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

The Economy Votes for Clinton

Article excerpt

Amid all the polling whiplash, one survey consistently backs Hillary Clinton, and with enthusiasm. Though not an official poll, it offers a relatively emotion-free referendum on the stakes in this presidential election. And its participants tend to be high-income and highly informed. We speak of the broad financial markets, a daily vote by investors on the direction of America's economy. Right after FBI Director James Comey mouthed off Friday about finding new emails that could - possibly, perhaps, maybe or maybe not - have bearing on the tiresome investigation of Clinton's emails, stock prices swooned. Gold prices, which climb at times of economic anxiety, spiked. And so did the VIX, the so-called fear index, showing expectation of sharp market swings ahead.

Never mind that Clinton still seemed headed for victory. Never mind that the story of a new Clinton "scandal started falling apart moments after Comey hinted that more dirt could be found in a new pile of emails - emails that the FBI hadn't even read and that may not have been written by Clinton or to her.

Never mind that some nice economic news still radiated from earlier in the morning. The gross domestic product rose nearly 3 percent in the third quarter - the highest growth rate in two years. Net exports of U.S. products were up. Over a half-million new jobs were created, and consumer spending got stronger.

The markets clearly dread Donald Trump. For investors big and small, a mere chip in confidence that Clinton will prevail Nov. 8 raises more red flags than the Chinese Embassy.

The bottom line for investors is their bottom line. Unlike conventional political polls, the markets don't dwell much on questions of a candidate's honesty, trustworthiness or sexual behavior. With few exceptions, America's business leaders have endorsed Clinton's candidacy. Even the Koch brothers won't support Trump. …

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