It's time to close the book on the third quarter, and what a quarter it was. Thanks to the Federal Reserve's new quantitative easing program, stocks saw their best third quarter in two years. QE3 rocked Q3.
As for today, the market started off on the wrong foot before paring losses toward the end of the session. Rumors swirled that Moody's is preparing to cut Spanish debt to junk status, further exacerbating that country's high borrowing costs. However, a stress test revealed that the Spanish banking institutions, which include Banco Santander
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
Despite its better performance, there weren't a whole lot of winners on the Dow, as only five of the 30 components finished the day with gains. Of those, Cisco
Beyond Cisco, Home Depot
And finally, IBM
Now here's a thought to ponder over the weekend. Since 1956, every year an incumbent president has been re-elected, the markets have gone up in the fourth quarter. If that trend holds, President Obama's widening lead over Mitt Romney could provide a short-term boost to your portfolio. However, our country faces real challenges over the next couple of years, starting with the fiscal cliff, and investors need to be prepared.
That's why the 2012 elections loom large, and there are stocks whose future is tied to whether Romney or Obama is in the White House. The Motley Fool's new special free report "These Stocks Could Skyrocket After the 2012 Presidential Election" highlights unique ways to profit from the election -- if you buy the right stocks before the next president's term begins. Download it for free by clicking here.
David Williamson holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Oracle, Cisco Systems, and IBM. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Home Depot and creating a synthetic long position in IBM. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.