Salient to Investors:

70 percent of S&P 500 companies have beaten analysts’ estimates this quarter.

Dow fluctuations this year are the smallest in an election year since 2004, and less than the 112-year average when the incumbents won (13 of 17) and lost (6 of 11). Volatility declines indicate less concern that prices will be whipsawed by economic news, a benefit for Obama. No Democrat since World War II has held the White House with the Dow this far from its peak.

James McDonald at Northern Trust said the incumbent tends to get re-elected when the market is doing well.

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