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 1:49PM
The headline should read: "Stocks have done well DESPITE obama"
Nov 6, 2012 1:47PM


“A coalition of community, labor and good government organizations is calling on the U.S. Office of Government Ethics to investigate presidential candidate Mitt Romney for noncompliance with the Ethics in Government Act and compel him to either disclose his investments or divest them,” according to the , who requested the charges.

The Romney profits came from Adelphi, a former parts supplier of the Delco division of General Motors. Adelphi was not technically supposed to be included in the federal bailout money given to the auto industry. But since neither GM nor Chrysler could survive without parts from Adelphi, $12.9 million in federal bailout money was and eventually diverted to hedge funds that Mitt and Ann Romney bought into.

Romney did not disclose his windfall profits from Delphi in his June 1, 2012, Public Financial Disclosure Report to the office of Government Ethics, “because he did not disclose the underlying holdings of his private equity and limited partnership funds,” according to .

With the UAW charges coming to light, the reason for Mitt Romney’s hiden tax returns becomes more apparent and more important as he seeks the presidency.


Vote Robme and elect a liar, tax cheat, and felon for President!

Nov 6, 2012 1:44PM

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 1:44PM
We had a rumor running around down here that Romney was up over 92,000 votes in Ohio and the market shot up...Unreal...Be cautious though...Just a rumor, nothing substantiated....Will be a long day and maybe night...More later.
Nov 6, 2012 1:44PM
Can this news outlet be any more blatant in it's political slant???
Nov 6, 2012 1:43PM

And yet ANOTHER REASON NOT to deregulate Wall St and the banks. We NEED to stick with what has BEEN WORKING and NOT RETURN TO the BUSH ERA ECONOMICS that Robme supports.


O & Joe in 2012!

Nov 6, 2012 1:39PM
To say that stocks have had a great run under Obama is pure fantasy. The fact that today they are where they are has nothing to do with Obama's policies or his lack of business acumen. If anything we should consider ourselves fortunate that the business community has the resilience that it has shown despite the repressive policies of Obama's Administration. To regain the loses sustained from the time he came to power is not due to Obama whatsoever but rather to the American populace who are praying that his term will finally come to and end so that we can once again regain our place as the world leader in science, economics, morality and leadership.
Nov 6, 2012 1:38PM
my stock portfolio is worth less than it was in June 2007, it crept back up to what it was, the high in  Feb 2011, when the market was 1000 pts less than it is now. In other words although the market has gone up since this so-called run, the real value of my portfolio is down. So just because the market is up the most it's been in 2, 3, 4 years doesn't mean anything on your own personal portfolio and I didn't touch, sell or move any of it based on my "financial advisor".  The implication that because the stocke market is up the most its been in "x" amount of time is misleading because your portfolio has to increase by about  20-30% every time the market tanks. When the market drops 120 points and then goes up 120 points the value of your stock is not the same as it was before tthe 120 drop, it is less.
Nov 6, 2012 1:38PM

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

Nov 6, 2012 1:38PM
Go Black Panthers....GO!

Keep whitey away from the polls!
Nov 6, 2012 1:35PM
You might want to clarify that the bubble burst during the last year of Clinton's term and continued the following year after Bush took office.  If you included the NASDAQ in the calculation...Clinton's number would be revised down significantly.
Nov 6, 2012 1:30PM

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 1:29PM

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 1:28PM
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 1:27PM
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 1:02PM
We have a clear choice:

OBAMA - Chicago corruption and incompetence to take us over the cliff now.

ROMNEY - Competence leading to postponement and much bigger and more devastating bubble.

Even though Democrats have delusion built into their DNA, Republicans are falling into the same hope and change fraud of four years ago.

Don't be delusional - OBAMA 2012 !!!

Nov 6, 2012 12:22PM
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 10:21AM
I would say stocks had a run during Obummers term......NOT a great run......
Nov 6, 2012 9:53AM

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 9:25AM
Actually hosnrs, the late Milton Friedman and most other University of Chicago school of economics economists would disagree with you and support Ben Bernanke's monetary expansion. They reasoned that the recession of 1929 became the Great Depression in part because they failed to expand the money supply (monetarism). Especially in the light of Republicans unwillingness to use enough EFFECTIVE stimulus (tax cuts for the rich give little stimulative bang for the buck) to help the economy in the Keynesian tradition, Bernanke's monetary expansion became the only way to avert another economic catastrophe.
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