In the fourth year of a presidential cycle, where you have a lame-duck president, the typical pattern of S&P 500 performance has been something like 10% below the normal long-term average (a 5.2% gain, inflation-adjusted), and worse if it is an overpriced market. A first year is never very pleasant: They average about 3% below normal. If they are overpriced, they do four points worse than that.
But if the party in power changes, first years tend to be eight points below normal. The following year is ugly, too. The average year two, since 1932, has been 10 points below normal and, if the market is overpriced, 15 points below normal. This is unpleasant. By a nice coincidence, those averages suggest the market will decline to 1100 in 2010, which is exactly the number we get to from a completely different technique—building it from the grass roots through fundamental value. We do that by taking average corporate-profit margins, actually a generous average, assigning a normal market price/earnings ratio, and that gives you 1100 in 2010. This year, next year and the year after will all be uncomfortable years. One of them might be up, but my guess is it won't be up by much.