The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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November 22, 2013

Obama plummeting with investors in poll as stocks make new highs

By Mike Dorning and Lisa Lerer

Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — Global investors' confidence in President Barack Obama plunged during the past two months after the government shutdown, a new poll shows, even as stocks traded at record highs and bond yields remained near historic lows.

Just 38 percent of respondents to a Bloomberg Global Poll view Obama favorably as they anticipate another shutdown and more damage to the U.S. economy next year from political gridlock. That's the lowest since the question was first asked in July 2009 and down from 50 percent in September.

Opinions of congressional Republicans also fell to a new bottom, with only 19 percent viewing the party positively, down from 28 percent in September 2012. Favorable views of Democrats were little changed, rising to 30 percent from 29 percent in September 2012, according to the Nov. 19 survey of 750 investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers.

"I'm concerned that, unless there's somebody that can show some leadership in Washington, continuing this dancing with the cliff is not going to help the economy," says Rick Wayman, 57, a portfolio manager in Columbus, Ohio, with New Albany Capital Partners.

Fifty-two percent of poll respondents say another federal government closure is likely within six months, following a standoff in October that led to a partial shutdown for 16 days and brought the nation to the brink of a debt default. Seventy- one percent say they expect political gridlock in Washington to affect U.S. economic growth next year.

Reservations over political leadership and budget policy haven't stopped the flow of money into U.S. financial markets. The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 stock index has surged about 26 percent this year, poised for its best yearly gain in a decade. Since the last investor poll was taken on Sept. 10, the market gauge has risen 6.6 percent.

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