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'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

Years in office

Dow chg. during term
Calvin Coolidge


Bill Clinton


Franklin Roosevelt


Ronald Reagan


Dwight Eisenhower

Harry Truman


Barack Obama 


George H.W. Bush 


Gerald Ford


Theodore Roosevelt 

Warren Harding


Lyndon Johnson


John Kennedy


Jimmy Carter


William Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson


Richard Nixon 


George W. Bush 


Herbert Hoover



Nov 6, 2012 2:59PM
stop lying and massaging the numbers.
Nov 6, 2012 2:57PM
Economic progress doesn't seem to be Oboma's agenda.
Nov 6, 2012 2:53PM

The article says that "Obummer did provide one crucial element to the recovery"!

He gave the banks billions of dollars to banks ,that instead of helping struggling homeowners

keep thier homes, took that money and bought derivitives on a stock market that had a rigged libor rate!

You wonder why the stock market is doing so well!? That is because the rich corrupt bankers stole all the common mans wealth with fraud! You dont see a word about the Libor Scandal is Americas mainstream media do you? The fact that bankers admitted fraud and none have been convicted or sentenced is proof that our government needs replacing.


Nov 6, 2012 2:52PM

Oh, and the attack on women's rights and dignity by the GOP, especially lead by that dolt Paul Ryan ... that's very 2012 eh?  Dismantle Medicare?  No more FEMA ... tell that to New Jersy and New York. 


Sadly for the GOP deniers of reality, women voters outnumber male voters by 10 million.  And let's not also overlook Latinos and blacks - in the Foxnews spin cycle - that Mittens has no hope of winning. 


Yes yes ... this one may be over more quickly than you think.  Sweet dreams angy white knee jerk neocons. 


Oh, and one more little good night kiss:  the Tea Party is history ladies.  The'll have few seats leaft after tonight. 

Nov 6, 2012 2:51PM
Democrats, the party of freeloaders, jealousy, and dependency.
Nov 6, 2012 2:48PM

None of the short sighted fools here are asking themselves why Mittens is a pariah and utterly scorned in Massacheusetts.  He has no chance of carry MA.  None.  Its becasue those citizens saw what he can -- and can't -- do.  And were appalled. 


Its because Mittens is a collosal fool who did more harm than good.  He's made no clear statement of what his policies will be.  He's changed his minded over and over again.  He's got no moral compass.   Yet you jackals think he'll do a just fine job of running the country.  What on earth has happened to you all?

Nov 6, 2012 2:45PM
While the market may have seen good gains during Obama's presidency, does anyone actually credit him for those gains?  Any positive effect he exerted on the markets were a result of the massive increase in deficiet spending so while that may be positive in the short run it is robbing Peter to pay Paul.  In the long run we'll all be suffering under the weight of the debt. 
Nov 6, 2012 2:43PM
I see all the Republicans answered this. And some blame MSN for a bad post. If you don't like the material that MSN has, don't read it or change your home page. This article is right on and also note that in the top seven four were Dems. It is about time the Rep. give credit where credit is due. If you Rep. continue with your way of thinking we as a nation will never be able to work together.
Nov 6, 2012 2:43PM
The reason the market is up is that the dollar is down
Nov 6, 2012 2:43PM

Stocks had a great run ?   Compared to what ?    Interest rates at zero ?   Theres no way to compare.

The stock market is inflated .....Before interest rates went up almost everytime there was a 500 point raise. None for ........ how many years ?     

Shouldn't this same policy continue?In another year .....the stock market might be up to ..  25,000...... and still zero interest rates ?

Or....  another look at it..... the stock market could be back to 2500 !!!

Nov 6, 2012 2:40PM
Obama is doing the nasty with actress Kerry Washington?

Nov 6, 2012 2:38PM


Nov 6, 2012 2:33PM

One polling site in Philadelphia apparently had a mural of President Obama emblazoned on the wall directly behind the voting machines. The mural, at a local school being used as a polling site, contained the words "change!" and "hope," along with a quote from the president. 

Republicans were drawing attention to the image Tuesday morning, with one Mitt Romney spokesman tweeting: "Voters in Philly's Ward 35 are being forced to cast their ballots next to this." 

"It is an absolute disgrace," said Shannon Royer, deputy secretary for external affairs and elections in Pennsylvania. "Election materials and electioneering inside the polling place are prohibited by state law. This can be interpreted as trying to influence voters inside the polling place. I am told discussions are going on now about covering the mural." 

Pennsylvania election law states "no person within a polling place may electioneer or solicit votes for any political party, political body, or candidate, nor may any unauthorized written or  printed materials be posted within the polling place." 

Nov 6, 2012 2:31PM
So the market went from a disaster to what it was before the disaster, and thats a big accomplishment? Besides this does nothing for the little guy. I thought Obama was for the little guy?   More lies.
Nov 6, 2012 2:31PM

A Pennsylvania judge issued an order Tuesday to reinstate Republican election officials across Philadelphia who allegedly were ejected or refused entry by on-site Democratic voting chief judges. 

One Republican official claimed that "just under 70" Republican election officials were blocked from Philadelphia polling sites Tuesday morning by Democrats on site. One of them, the official claimed, "was shoved out of the polling place." 

"For this many inspectors to be ejected from polling places is rare, even for Philadelphia," 

Nov 6, 2012 2:31PM
Nov 6, 2012 2:28PM

you can thank obama for making the rich people richer. obama has been printing a trillion dollars a year in money and putting it into the market to make it look like he is doing a good job. at the same time, the poor get poorer, because all this printed money has made food prices and other stuff that poor people buy double in price. who is really helping the poor and middle income people in America?

Nov 6, 2012 2:27PM
you don't think this headline is a bit of a coincidence to you? Hmmm election day. Obama really did nothing for the market as he did nothing period. The values of these companys is up because their cash positions are up and that is because nobody is spending money. They won't spend and they won't hire. So while these numbers might look good the reality of it all is that there are still millions and millions of Americans out of work, prices for the consumer are taking off and our healthcare has doubled under this clown.
Nov 6, 2012 2:24PM

If the stock market has done so well, why is the economy in shambles under Obama? Banks are paying basically zero on our savings, CDs, 401ks are flat, etc. The housing market will not come back for decades, unemployment is horrible, jobs are scarce, companies are not expanding, yet the media comes up with this report that the stock market has done well under Obama....the food stamp president. And do you think inflation is coming?

Nov 6, 2012 2:23PM

In March 2009, the market was at it's worst adjusted closing in 80 years. President Obama was already three months into his first term.  My question is simple- Where could this market go?  I submit that it only could go up, and Obama should NOT get any credit for this action.  My 13 year old daughter could have been president and the market would have gone up similarly.


My advice to Americans today?  Vote for who you believe will make things better for you.  Obama is a lot of fluff, smoke, and mirrors.  Romney is a candidate that is most like Ronald Regan, and that is who I am betting on today. Join me.

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