I've talked before about how gold is a good measurement standard, mainly because it has held its value relative to other assets pretty well over long periods. This chart uses gold to measure the value of U.S. equities by dividing the S&P 500 by the price of gold. If I extended the chart back to 1928, you would see that equities today are worth almost exactly the same in terms of gold as they were back then; they've oscillated up and down in a wide range, but the trend is relatively flat.
I've highlighted three points on this chart, and calculated the amount by which the U.S. stock market has declined as of today relative to those three points. From the day Obama took the lead in the polls, the market has lost over half its value; since the November election the market is down by 45%; and since the stimulus bill was passed, the market is down by a bit more than one-third.
I can't prove that these three events had anything to do with the cause of the market's decline, but that it is all a coincidence is not so obvious to me.
HT: John Hearne