After Fox News grudgingly called the election for President Obama early Wednesday morning, Fox Business quickly started hawking the idea that a stock market drop on Wednesday morning was in response to Obama’s victory. Stuart Varney and Ed Butowsky claimed the decline was because “the takers have taken over” and investors are afraid of tax hikes:
VARNEY: Dow Industrial is down 177. That is a sell-off. Is it an Obama sell-off? We’ll discuss. With Obama’s victory, the takers have taken over. The makers are clearly in the minority. Am I right? It’s a sell-off the day after the election, with an Obama second term we’re down 183 points.[…]
VARNEY: And it’s a reaction to the Obama victory?
BUTOWSKY: I don’t see anything else except what’s going on in Europe as well.
VARNEY: Okay, so stocks down, bonds up and this is largely a reaction to the Obama victory.
BUTOWSKY: Without any question in my mind.
In fact, as the Washington Post explained, the market responded positively to Obama’s reelection early in the day, but soon plunged over concerns of the Republican-controlled Congress playing chicken with the upcoming fiscal cliff and a slew of bad economic news out of Europe. (And, of course, stock moves are rarely attributable to any one event.)
The talking point that Obama is somehow bad for the market emerged in 2008, when Fox and other conservative commentators immediately attempted to ascribe stock market fluctuations to Obama’s victory. Conservatives also pointed to a similar drop off after the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, though the market recovered later in the day once the court’s ruling was clarified.
The Dow Jones industrial average has actually gained 67.9 percent since Obama took office.