Stocks have had a great run in Obama's term

One can argue over how big a role the administration played in the huge market rally since March 2009. Gains for, say, Apple, Caterpillar and others are really due to management skill. But Obama did provide one crucial element to the recovery.

By Charley Blaine Nov 5, 2012 7:44PM

For all of the complaints of the business community about Barack Obama, they can't complain much about what his administration and the Federal Reserve have done for the stock market.

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) are up 58.3% since he took office. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) is up 66.7%. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) is up 96.1%. The Russell 2000 Index ($RUT) is up 75.7%.

 

Remember that Obama took office during the 2008-09 market crash. The market bottomed on March 9, 2009, about seven weeks after he was sworn in. Since then, the Dow is up 100.3%. The S&P 500 has jumped 109.5%, and the Nasdaq has soared 136.5%. The Russell 2000 has surged 138.5%.

If you measure the Dow's gain during a presidential term, Obama ranks seventh of the 19 presidents who took office in the 20th or 21st centuries. He would rank sixth if you measured from the March 9 low.

Republican Calvin Coolidge, who became president after Warren Harding died in 1923, had the best Dow gain during his years in office: 262.8%. The market surged as radios and automobiles became must-haves for Americans, as opposed to gadgets for the affluent.

Next was the 225.2% Dow gain during Bill Clinton's years, a rally built on the personal-computer revolution and the dot-com bubble.

The problem with the Coolidge and Clinton markets was that economic optimism morphed into pure market bubbles. Their successors had to deal with the ensuing blow-offs.

During George W. Bush's terms, stocks slumped after the dot-com bubble burst and the country was staggered by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The stock market rose again as the economy recovered but was taken down when the housing bubble burst.

Management execution obviously had a much larger impact on the stocks than Barack Obama. He would surely concede he has nothing to do with Apple's (AAPL) 626.3% gain since its 2009 low, which occurred ironically on inauguration day. Can you say iPod, iPhone and iPad?

Nor would he claim anything to do with Google's (GOOG) 165% gain since its 2008 low, or Amazon.com's (AMZN) 569% gain since November 2008, nor Caterpillar's (CAT) 291% gain since its March 2009 bottom.

Still, among the administration's major achievements are stabilizing the nation's banking system and providing support for the auto industry. The former was done in cooperation with the Federal Reserve. Those helped the markets and the economy.

The administration conducted stress tests on 19 financial institutions, 18 of which were publicly held. All of the 18 stocks are higher, led by Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), up more than 1,000% from its 2009 low, Capital One Financial (COF), up 630%, and American Express (AXP), up 449%.

Presidents and the Dow since 1900
President 

Years in office

Dow chg. during term
Calvin Coolidge

1923-1929

262.80%
Bill Clinton

1993-2001

225.17%
Franklin Roosevelt

1933-1945

163.74%
Ronald Reagan

1981-1989

130.60%
Dwight Eisenhower
1953-1961

120.37%
Harry Truman

1945-1953

81.56%
Barack Obama 

2009-

58.57%
George H.W. Bush 

1989-1993

45.41%
Gerald Ford

1974-1977

23.41%
Theodore Roosevelt 
1901-1909

22.80%
Warren Harding

1921-1923

16.92%
Lyndon Johnson

1963-1969

15.94%
John Kennedy

1961-1963

15.85%
Jimmy Carter

1977-1981

0.24%
William Howard Taft
1909-1913

-1.51%
Woodrow Wilson

1913-1921

-7.50%
Richard Nixon 

1969-1974

-7.60%
George W. Bush 

2001-2009

-21.78%
Herbert Hoover

1929-1933

-81.22%

159Comments
Nov 6, 2012 9:53AM
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I was happy to see that you took note of the dot com bubble bursting as Bush came into office and that

shortly after we had the 9/ll terror attack.  The democrats have overlooked these things and blamed him for any and everything that was problematic during his terms in office.  Pleae also note that he did not blame Bill Clinton.  The markets have done well because we couldn't make money on CDs or houses or anything else.  Bernanke forced us into risky investments with low rates.  That only works for a while.  I am afraid that no matter who is president next inflation is going to bring the market down again .  Whoever is president will get the blame.  Presidents do not have as much to do with the market as everyone thinks.

Nov 6, 2012 7:50AM
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All artificially induced by all the QE's, corporate earnings are all down, most companies are shedding costs and jobs. Don't believe the hype.
Nov 6, 2012 9:17AM
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So MSN had to hav eits one last partisan article giving credit to Obama, "You did not build that."  So that means he had nothing to do with it.  Bernanke inflated it and the stock market was already driven down  by his pending election.  Where is the stock market in terms of its increase from 2008? Nowhere and that is the economic performance of an Obama administration.
Nov 6, 2012 8:25AM
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When the markets taked in 2008 there was only one direction to go and that was up. Now you want to give credit to Obama for that????
Nov 6, 2012 9:18AM
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Quantitative Easing is what is propping this market up which after 4 yrs is still not over the 2008 high of over 14000. How much more debt do you want for American taxpayers? How many more downgrades do you want? Do you want a vengeful president or one that loves our country and has the business sense not to borrow from China for our government debt service. Romney has way more business experience. I am for Romney/Ryan ticket, straight Republican congress.

Nov 6, 2012 8:39AM
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The economy is much more than any collection of numbers, %ages, or profit margins. Fear that works its way into the family unit and causes indecision and/or poor decisions to be made can tear an economy to pieces.
Nov 6, 2012 1:49PM
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The headline should read: "Stocks have done well DESPITE obama"
Nov 6, 2012 1:44PM
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Obama stated at the beginning of his term that he would cut the deficit in half in 2 years.  It's been 4 years and our deficit has only increased!  We don't need promises we need results.  Look at the candidates accomplishments and results.  This should be the easiest vote for the educated.  Unfortunately, we have too many uneducated individuals in this country.  Gimme Gimme Gimme

Nov 6, 2012 6:09AM
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I do not know the outcome of today's election.  My prayers are with Romney/Ryan.  The debt brought on during the Bush years was bad. The debt brought on buy obama is mulitple times worse.  His betrayal of EVERY promise he made four years ago disqualifies him for four more years in the mind of any clear thinking individual.

Currently we are on an unsustainable path of borrowing forty cents of every dollar spent by the federal government. When anyone talks of cutting spending, the DEMOCRATS begin their predicable fear mongering about losing "social security and medicare". 

With Romney/Ryan there is at least a chance that common sense will apply and spending cuts, working from the bottom up, least important, frivolius, and out rite stupid spending might be cut until out go equals income.

The idea that we can spend our way out of debt and tax our way to prosperity is a STUPID idea and that's obama's basic economic plan.  I hope he doesn't get four more years to prove it to the last of the sceptics.

Nov 6, 2012 1:49PM
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ARE YOU KIDDING? HOW MUCH DID OBAMA PAY YOU TO WRITE THIS ARTICLE?!! THESE MARKETS HAVE BEEN MANIPULATED FOR YEARS BY DEMOCRATS AND GEORGE SOROS. MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE LOST MONEY IN OUR RETIREMENT BECAUSE OF THEM. I CAN'T WAIT TO PULL THE LEVER THIS AFTERNOON
Nov 6, 2012 1:50PM
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BEN BERNANKE AND HIS QE'S HAVE MADE OUR DOLLAR ALMOST WORTHLESS . YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT I'M ANGRY
Nov 6, 2012 1:29PM
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What a bunch of crap. When you FLOOD the economy with another 6 TRILLION dollars is causes the PRICE of EVERYTHING to go up.

 

GOLD has gone up nearly $1000 because the number of dollars in circulation. Only an idiot would say the "false rise" in the stock market had anything to do with Obama having done anything positive or corrective.

 

We STILL have a FISCAL CATASTROPHE after FOUR YEARS of INEPT policies from Obama.

Nov 6, 2012 1:30PM
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Markets naturally bounce back. After four years I would hope they were back to where we were.

All I know is many of my fellow tradesmen are still not working 40 hours a week. They have had a terrible last four years and it doesn't look any better. Many older guys have taken early retirement and our pension is still in the yellow by fed standards. It is actually less funded than last year.

 

If Obama wins again he will be untethered and you will see his  full wrath or should I say in Obama's terms "revenge" on America that his father dreamt about.

Nov 6, 2012 12:22PM
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Another MSN  campaign article for Obama just recited that the stock market went up 305 points on eleciton day 2008 but neglected to comment that it dropped 1,000 points 2 days later and another 1,000 points in the 2 weeks after that.  If you figure that on average the stock market should rise an average of 8% per year for risk plus risk free rate, the stock market should be at 12,672 today.  It is only slightly above that but how much would it be up if for not all of the money printing that inflated the market.  Stay in B rated bonds. That has done the best since 2004 and invest in east Asia until this nightmare of leadership is done.
Nov 6, 2012 1:27PM
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And who really believes that the corrupt financial system is an accurate barometer of the true health and long-term sustainability of the U.S. economy??

Get ready for inflation folks.  You can't print your way out of decades of politically and greed motivated bad financial policy and poor fiscal management.  Chickens WILL roost, at some point.

Nov 6, 2012 1:28PM
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obama's record is horrendous! how anybody could believe he's done a good job is on crack!
butt crack of obama!

Nov 6, 2012 12:26AM
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In 2008, Barack Obama pushed “Hope and Change.” Not a bad slogan until we all found out what he hoped to change: more taxes, an economic policy that’s strangling our economy, control of our healthcare, liberal Supreme Court judges, redefining marriage, full support of abortion, unconstitutional Executive Orders by the truck load, trampling on religious rights, diminished support for our international interests, seeming indifference to radical Islam’s terrorist agenda, CIA sex scandal, Fast and Furious weapon scandal, Benghazi scandal, fiscal cliff scandal....

AMERICANS DESERVE BETTER LEADERSHIP! Our country needs quality moral and fiscal responsible leadership. I am voting straight Republican ticket: Mitt Romney/Ryan and Republican Congress.

Nov 6, 2012 1:50PM
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Obama allows corporate corruption.  He has major corporate campaign donors and in return Obama doesn't put high tarrifs on goods imported from China and the average american is again screwed.  
Nov 6, 2012 7:00AM
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Ben Bernanke "inspired" this "run", anyone with any economic sense knows it too.

Nov 6, 2012 1:38PM
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OMG! Charley give me a break! Stocks are stuck at 13,000+ and have stalled just like the economy. Besides the stall, they are at a level no higher than where they were shortly before he took office!

Typical MSN article. Misleading in an attempt to make any Democrat liberal look good! Why do I even come here?? Insanity I guess

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