If you’re an investor, there are a lot of people to thank for the second-longest bull market run in history. Perhaps after mentioning people like Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and S&P 500 CEOs for the support, it would be wise to bring up someone a little more unexpected: President Obama.
In fact, as far as presidents go, he’s been one of the most successful in modern history in supporting the growth of the market according to Bespoke Investment Group.
“The reality, though, is that the stock market has done exceptionally well under President Obama,” wrote Bespoke in a note out Thursday.
“The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s performance [under Obama] of 120.6% ranks as the sixth best of any US President since 1900, just behind Reagan and comfortably ahead of Truman, who at 74.4% is far behind.”
Let’s be clear, it’s not as if a president can pull a lever and make the stock market go up, and there are certainly many other factors at play in the rise in stock prices over the last seven years. But, presidential policies do have an impact on the economy, which in turn matters for stocks. So in a roundabout way (at most), a president has some influence over the market.
While President Obama is just outside the top 5 for now, according to Bespoke, if the market improves over the last half year or so of his term, he could jump some of his peers.
“Looking at the way things stand, by the end of his entire tenure in office, President Obama could conceivably surpass Reagan and Eisenhower in terms of returns and finish in the top four for his entire time in office,” said the note.
Also of note, the top two presidents saw serious crashes for the stock market following their tenures: Calvin Coolidge preceded Black Monday and the Great Depression, while Bill Clinton left office as the tech bubble was starting to burst.
So whether the substantial run-up in stocks under President Obama is a blessing or a curse remains to be seen.
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