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article imageOp-Ed: 'Obama Stock Market Rally' not a myth; Clinton, Roosevelt better

By John Presta     Jul 15, 2014 in Politics
Washington, D. C. - President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, and the Dow was at 7,949.09. The Dow bottomed on March 9, 2009, at 6,547.05, which was then at its lowest level since 1997. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also hit bottom between those dates.
On Jan. 20, 2009, former President George W. Bush had just completed one of the worst presidencies in American history. Obama's inauguration day was as much a celebration of his victory as it was a good riddance to a failed leader. Bush left the young president with a near-depression economy, with the housing market experiencing one of its worst collapses. The stock market was sinking fast too, as was the job market losing good-paying jobs at an astonishing rate of 750,000 jobs per month.
Obama's steady hand inspired a nation as the stock market climbed upward after March 9, 2009. The job economy started its slow, upward climb with the March, 2010 jobs report and hasn't looked back since.
It was not until late 2011 that the housing market made its upward descent. But it was the stock market that made its move first under the new Obama administration.
Some have called the run-up in the various indexes of the stock market for the past five and a half years, the "Obama Stock Market Rally." On July 3, 2014, the Dow hit an all-time high of 17,068.26 and the S&P 500 hit a record high of 1,985.34. As of today's close, the Dow and the S&P 500 are close to those highs. Is that a myth of a few partisan Democrats, or is there a basis for this?
"Yes, of course" is one answer.
"Absolutely not," is another answer.
"Uh, maybe," is a more tepid and tentative response.
All three answers are correct, of course, depending on your viewpoint and political ideology. Russ Britt of analyzed the data from Obama's first 2,000 days in office, comparing and contrasting the data with every president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The results were surprising, said Britt. The biggest surprise is that Obama outperformed the man who is the ideological opposite of him, President Ronald Reagan. During Obama's first 2,000 days, the stock market gained 142.1 percent. Reagan gained a paltry 88.3 percent during that same time period of 2,000 days. Should the market flatten between now and Jan. 20, 2017, Obama's full, eight-year performance would still outpace Reagan's eight-year total percentage of just under 113, with a total number of 2,922 days in office.
Presidents outperforming Obama are Bill Clinton and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Clinton gained a whopping 175.6 percent, with Roosevelt slightly trailing at 166.6 percent. In fifth place among the presidents, Dwight David Eisenhower at 70.5 percent, followed by Harry S. Truman at 44.8 percent.
There two negative performers among the presidents, George W. Bush at a minus 8.9 percent and President Richard Milhous Nixon at a minus 17.2 percent. Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush were not included because they didn't serve long enough to make the 2,000 day mark.
In another surprise sure to arouse the right, according to Britt, the average stock-market gain under the four post-Depression Democrats has "outpaced the average gain of the four Republicans in the era by a factor of nearly 4 to 1. Democratic gains have averaged 133 percent, while Republican market advances have had a mean of 33 percent."
Britt said he averaged the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 for the first 2,000 days for four of the eight post — Great Depression presidents who made it that far: Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama. For Eisenhower and Nixon, only Dow and S&P data were available. And for Roosevelt and Truman, it was just the Dow.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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