Emails. Push notifications. Your college friends on social media. All these sources have likely reminded you a hundred times that today is Election Day, and a lot is at stake in the United States. If you want to be an informed American — and a prepared investor — what should you be watching? Here is an all-encompassing guide to what you should be watching in the stock market today.
You should first understand the narrative. What is happening? Well, one of the biggest differences with the 2020 election is the rise of early voting. Driven by the novel coronavirus and concerns over crowded polling places, many Americans exercised the rights to vote ahead of Election Day. In fact, as many as 100 million Americans took this pandemic-friendly option.
However, each state has different protocols for counting these votes. This means that tonight, as polls close around the country, partial results will largely reflect whichever ballots get counted first.
Night-of results are always partial, and take several days to certify. However, because of the rise of early and mail-in votes, as well as fears that the election format will contribute to voter fraud, there is a high level of stress heading into tonight. Investors need to remember not to panic. Keep your emotions in check and read up on behavioral finance strategies.
Right now, former Vice President Joe Biden maintains his lead over President Donald Trump. But unless you have a crystal ball, there is no way to know who will win. Either way, InvestorPlace has you covered. Here are the top three trends to watch, and where we are looking for news tonight.
What to Watch
Stock Market Futures: Stock market futures were a big talking point during the 2016 presidential election, and may well be volatile again tonight. As the clock approached midnight in 2016, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures shed 870 points. Panic set in. A victory by Trump over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shocked many. But then, things turned around. Just a few hours later, as Trump delivered his victory speech, futures had started to rebound.
Remember that trend from 2016 heading into tonight. Just as quickly as panic can set in and selling can start, a wave of optimism can take hold of the market.
Cryptocurrencies: Unlike stock market futures, cryptocurrencies had very little immediate reaction to the 2016 election results. However, we are seeing a rally in bitcoin (CCC:BTC) in the stock market today. That could very well be because the leading cryptocurrency is relatively election-proof — with all of the chaos, a Republican or Democratic victory could boost the case for digital currency.
We may not see major moves tonight or tomorrow, but know that crypto bulls are ready to come out in full force. InvestorPlace contributor Josh Enomoto even wrote today that we could soon see bitcoin make a run for $20,000.
Renewable Energy Plays: Right now Wall Street is almost certain that Biden will win. If he does, renewable energy stocks will be immediate beneficiaries. Importantly, some of these names have also been pushing higher in the stock market today. Keep an eye on electric vehicle names like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Fisker (NYSE:FSR) and General Motors (NYSE:GM). Also watch battery play QuantumScape (NYSE:KCAC) and charging station companies Blink Charging (NASDAQ:BLNK) and ChargePoint (NYSE:SBE). Lastly, make sure to keep solar firms like First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) on your radar.
Where to Watch
If you want to know exactly how election results will play out in the stock market, make sure to follow along with our election blog in real time. If you want to do some extra credit — and of course you do — here are some excellent sources to follow:
- A look at how Trump and Biden will impact the stock market from InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango
- An hour-by-hour Election Night guide from the New York Times
- Live election updates from NPR
- State-by-state election results from Fox News
- Another live election guide from the Washington Post
- Follow the race live with polling and data experts FiveThirtyEight
- Business-focused updates from CNBC
- Live election updates with a West-Coast spin from the Los Angeles Times
- Real-time analysis from election data specialist Decision Desk HQ
- Next-generation political video coverage from The Recount
Remember to follow along with our election analysis live blog and check in with InvestorPlace tomorrow for more takeaways. Stay safe and make sure to vote!
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer with InvestorPlace.com.