Trump Dow Performance: It’s Unremarkable

Trump Dow Performance: It’s Unremarkable

Some are saying newspaper headlines should be emblazoned with the remarkable performance of the stock market under President Trump.  Here is why they are not.  

1. The Dow Hits Record Highs for EVERY President.

President Trump congratulates himself every time the Dow hits a new record high. But the Dow has hit all time highs at some point for EVERY president for at least the last 100 years, including Hoover briefly at the start of his presidency.  President Obama is the only President whose peak Dow record was in his final week in office, handing his successor a booming Dow. It would only be news for Trump if the Dow did NOT hit a new all time high at some point during his presidency, since it has for at least his 16 predecessors in the last 100 years.  What will matter more is the Dow percent increase or decrease at the end his term.  Every President hits records during their terms.

Every President Sets Record Dow Highs
Dow record highs were set at some point during the terms of every president for the last 100 years. (Data from
Dow Record Highs
Dow record percent highs set at some point during their terms. Every President has seen a record high Dow.

2. MANY recent presidents had better Dow performance at 2 years and 314 days in.

On a percentage basis, at this point of Trump’s first term, (Dec 1, 2019 — 2 years and 314 days in), the Dow under President Obama and President Clinton rose more than under Trump.  Trump’s Dow is unremarkable even by the most recent standards. Additionally, Trump is one of three presidents after Lyndon Johnson that were handed a generally upward headed market the day they took office, along with only Clinton and Reagan.

Dow Performance at 2 Years & 314 Days In
Dow performance 2 years and 314 days into the president’s first terms. (Data from
Dow Percent Increase
Dow performance for every president for the last 100 years, 2 years and 314 days into their first terms on a percent basis. On December 1, the date of this chart, President Trump has been in office 2 years and 314 days.

President Trump touts great, historic, and unprecedented success. Sometimes even normally non-partisan commentators fall in line, repeating Trump’s claims and asking why newspapers are not doing the same. But the data doesn’t lie.

The press is not touting Trump’s stock market performance for one reason.  It is simply unremarkable.