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We find a strong link between Congressional activity and stock market returns that persists even after controlling for known daily return anomalies. Stock returns are lower and volatility is higher when Congress is in session. This Congressional Effect can be quite large - more than 90% of the capital gains over the life of the DJIA have come on days when Congress is out of session. The Effect varies systematically with the public's opinion of Congress: returns are lower and volatility higher when a relatively unpopular Congress is active. Public opinion appears to play a fundamental role in market prices. This is consistent with a mood-based explanation that sees Congress as depressing the average investor.