As I type (9:22 pm, Monday, September 30, 2013), Dow futures are trading down about a hundred points. Of course you know why, right? Yes, buyers are only willing to accommodate sellers at levels noticeably below this afternoon's close. And that's after bidding prices down, to the tune of 128 Dow points, during regular trading. Which came after Friday's 70+ point drop. Wow! In two days and an evening the Dow's given up around 300 points. Truly, anyone who would buy stocks amid a government shutdown has to be either gutsy or downright stupid---or both---right?
Well, think about it. Think about the market selling off like it did, under similar circumstances, in 2011. The major averages sank something like 16% during that fiasco. We're talking 2,400 Dow points, today, should history repeat itself. Well, that's the point exactly! Well, yeah, but those who, by sheer luck, bought at the bottom---provided they've held on ever since---have seen an amazing 4,700 point advance. Even the poor souls who bought at the 2011 peak, provided they held through the storm and beyond, aren't that poor after all---they're ahead by roughly 19% (using the Dow as our proxy), at this point, for the experience.
So if you're at all anxious over the budget battle's near-term impact on the market, think about what tends to happen when the politician folds to the fear of failing his life's ambition (a life in office that is)---when concessions are made and resolutions passed. Of course I can't promise---given the countless variables---that the market will immediately trade back to pre-fiasco levels once this fiasco ends, as history might suggest. I will, however, predict, with confidence, that in the not-too-distant future the market will be trading on entirely different events.