It lies on the far side of chutzpah for Congress to have gone off on a five-and-a-half week vacation this past August, then come back and collect a paycheck for not doing their jobs, which is enacting a full fiscal budget.

Which the Democrat-led Senate hasn’t done since April 2009. Since 1976 there have been 17 shutdowns, the fault of both Democrats and Republicans. Since 1981 government funding has run out without new money in place ten times.

The problem is extraordinary actions are becoming ordinary. That includes the fallback position to the full throttle Fed, with the U.S. central bank even stepping in after the 1996 federal shutdown to deliver a quarter point rate cut.

Word on the street is, be bullish until the bill comes due. Many top analysts at the big Wall Street investment houses are saying the markets will continue to rise through year end. So set aside the tedious orgy of self-righteousness and focus on stocks you want that look cheap now.

For a little history, look at the mid-‘90s shutdown, which had little effect on stocks, and in fact experienced a post-shutdown rally. Metals prices were higher, with the exception of industrial plays like copper, aluminum, and zinc,” notes FOX Business senior editor Charles Brady. “The big swings in energy prices likely reflect heavy trading and supply issues surrounding the blizzard of 1996 (January 6 to January 8), which dumped almost 4 feet of snow and paralyzed most of the east coast.”

Index/Commodity

12/16/1995 - 1/5/1996

1 Month After Shutdown

Dow Jones Industrial Average

0.09%

3.72%

S&P 500

0.06%

3.10%

NASDAQ Composite Index

0.29%

3.74%

Dow Jones Transportation Average

-1.83%

-1.81%

Russell 2000

0.57%

1.77%

Russell 1000

0.15%

3.28%

Russell 3000

0.19%

3.14%

 

 

 

Energy

 

 

Crude Oil WTI (NYM $/bbl) Continuous

3.84%

-12.14%

NY Harbor ULSD (NYM $/gal) Continuous

4.57%

-12.17%

Natural Gas (NYM $/btu) Continuous

23.35%

-15.40%

 

 

 

Metals

 

 

Gold (NYM $/ozt) Continuous

2.43%

4.78%

High Grade Copper (NYM $/lbs) Continuous

-6.50%

-5.38%

Silver (NYM $/ozt) Continuous

8.00%

5.70%

Palladium (NYM $/ozt) Continuous

2.63%

4.31%

Platinum (NYM $/ozt) Continuous

2.85%

3.78%

Aluminum (LME Cash $/t)

-3.65%

-2.65%

Zinc (LME Cash $/t)

-2.20%

6.04%

 

Elizabeth MacDonald joined FOX Business Network (FBN) as stocks editor in September 2007.
Follow Elizabeth MacDonald on Twitter @LizMacDonaldFOX.