If Bernie Sanders wins Iowa Monday and gains momentum, that would spook the stock market

By Patti Domm

Iowa’s Democratic presidential caucuses Monday are a step toward narrowing the far-flung field of candidates, and investors could start getting worried if polls prove correct and Bernie Sanders emerges as the winner.

Iowa is just the first ballot, but a win by the Vermont senator could give him more momentum, and that certainly could get the market’s attention. Analysts do not expect a sell-off just based on an Iowa win for Sanders, but if he begins to look like the nominee in more races, volatility could increase. New Hampshire’s primary is the following week, and Sanders won there in 2016.

“I think the market really has run up for a lot of reasons, but they clearly have been pricing in a Trump re-election,” said Lori Calvasina, chief U.S.equity strategist at RBC. “The betting markets are sending a positive signal on Sanders right now. The big sort of shift in trend is Bernie.”

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