Like the Summer Olympics, presidential elections come every four years, bringing fierce competition, cheering crowds, winners and losers, and occasions to hear "The Star Spangled Banner." The big difference is the stakes in the elections are much greater.
As you consider the candidates and your impending vote, you may want to pay attention to how the elections may be affecting the economy and markets:
- Historical performance shows the market is often influenced by the outcome of presidential elections and that the simple fact there's a presidential election in 2012 may influence the market's direction between now and year-end.
- Whether Congress votes to raise the nation's debt ceiling limit could dramatically affect the world's financial markets.
- The nation may go over the so-called "fiscal cliff" - the combination of tax increases and government spending cuts scheduled for January - possibly sending the economy back into recession.