An Inconvenient Milestone for U.S. Equities

March 18, 2020

In today’s chapter of the bear market, the Dow Jones Industrials index fell briefly below the 19,827 level prevailing when President Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017. It touched an intra-day low of 18,917 before closing with a net daily loss of 6.3% at 19,899.

Closing levels today in the DJIA, S&P 500, and Nasdaq indices were respectively 0.4%, 5.6%, and 25.8% above their levels when Trump took office. On March 18, 2012 — the equivalent point in the Obama presidency – those indices had recorded gains since January 20, 2009 of 66.5%, 74.4%, and 112.0% in spite of beginning in the midst of America’s deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression..

These comparisons matter because Trump ran for president on a promise to “make America great again” in economic performance and foreign policy, and both before and after becoming president, he has often selected the stock market performance as one of the best measures for seeing if he is fulfilling his pledge on the economy. Alas, the stock market has in fact far under-performed how it did in the equivalent period of his immediate predecessor, let alone some distant time in the past to which he pledged to return.

Copyright 2020, Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission. 



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