Stock Market Today: Stocks Snap Win Streak as Midterm Results Roll In

A continued selloff in cryptocurrencies and crypto-related stocks put pressure on the broader market today, too.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks closed sharply lower Wednesday as several key midterm election races remained undecided. While it looks increasingly likely that Republicans will gain control of the House of Representatives, the Senate remains too close to call. Markets hate uncertainty, but the historical prognosis for stocks following a midterm has been positive – we'll explain more below.

Another headwind for stocks today was the continued selloff in cryptocurrencies and crypto-related stocks following Tuesday's news that crypto exchange Binance bought the non-U.S. assets of rival FTX. Bitcoin tumbled 11.0% to $16,190 (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.). Among equities, crypto exchange Coinbase Global (COIN (opens in new tab)) fell 9.5%, while online trading app Robinhood Markets (HOOD (opens in new tab)) slumped 13.8%.

This put pressure on the Nasdaq Composite, with the tech-heavy index falling 2.5% to 10,353. The broader S&P 500 Index (-2.1% to 3,748) and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average (-2.0% to 32,513) suffered significant losses, as well. Today's drop had the major market indexes snapping a three-day win streak.

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Also on Wall Street's radar is tomorrow morning's consumer price index (CPI) for October. José Torres, senior economist at Interactive Brokers, is expecting the headline reading to be up 8.1% year-over-year, and core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, to be 6.6% higher. Another hot reading could push the Fed to keep monetary policy tight, Torres says, which would in turn pressure stocks.

Analysts Say Disney Remains a Buy After Earnings

Still, long-term investors shouldn't be overly concerned about this latest round of market volatility. "History has shown that during midterm election years, the equity markets tend to struggle heading into the fourth quarter, before rallying," says John Lynch, chief investment officer for Comerica Wealth Management. 

Another encouraging data point from Lynch: "Since 1950, the average drawdown for the S&P 500 has been 17.0% in midterm election years. However, after reaching its trough, in the subsequent 12-month period, the Index has recovered by up to one-third on average." The S&P 500 has already exceeded this average drawdown in 2022, off 21.3% for the year-to-date, and while more losses could come, history shows that a significant rebound will eventually occur. This, says Lynch, underscores the importance for investors "not to be deterred by midterm election year volatility," as well as his "belief that the best course of action is to stay the course with long-term investment plan and remember the importance of 'time in' vs. 'timing' the market." 

And the good news for investors is that following the stunning losses the equities market has seen this year, many high-quality stocks are trading at bargain-basement prices right now. Take Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META), for instance, with the former mega-cap tech stock down nearly 70% since the start of the year. Walt Disney (DIS (opens in new tab)) is another one. The Dow Jones stock fell 13.2% today after a dismal earnings report, but analysts agree DIS is still a resounding Buy. Here, we explain why.

Karee Venema
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger.com

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at Kiplinger.com. She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.