Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Stocks For A Democratic White House

Just over a year ago, we presented perspective from Stuart Sweet, president of Washington research firm Capitol Analysts Network. He gave us several industries with a favorable political outlook, and we did some screening within them.

Those picks have posted an average return of 22% so far, versus a 0% gain for the S&P 500. Sweet, a former Hill staffer with a business degree, advises investors on sectors that could get rattled or revved up by politics and activity inside the Beltway.

So, sticking with what works, we're consulting with Sweet again. Broadly speaking, Sweet is bracing his clients for a Democrat in the White House and expanded Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress.

"It's a Democratic year," he says. "A 60% chance of a Democratic president sounds reasonable to me."

Why reasonable? In terms of the executive branch, one reason is history. Since 1960, Sweet points out, the party holding the White House has managed only once to hang on for three consecutive terms. That was Republican George Herbert Walker Bush, succeeding a two-term Reagan presidency that finished up with high approval ratings.

Things look different today. "If George W. Bush was facing voters," says Sweet, "he would be a sure loser."

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