Trump vs Obama Stock Market Returns

UPDATE: We will try to update this on a monthly basis so you know where the current administration stands versus the previous when it comes to stock market returns.

All politics aside, below you will find the numbers to illustrate a rate of return on an investment in the overall stock market (S&P 500) over the last two administrations.

Many people are giving Trump a pass because he has been “so good for the economy and stock market”. Over at Calculated Risk Blog Bill McBride has been tracking the return of the stock market since inauguration during the Obama term and the Trump term. The results may shock you.

Obama Administration – Inauguration Date – January 20th, 2009

S&P 500 – 805.22

705 Days in – 1256.77 – up 56.07%

Trump Administration – Inauguration Date – January 20th, 2017

S&P 500 – 2271.31

705 Days in – 2351.10 – Up 3.51%

705 Days In

Merry Christmas. We can say that again because of President Trump, right? Always remember, there is a tweet for everything. Well, it is safe to say the market is in free fall. What many investors feared is happening. When President Trump’s back is against the wall, he comes out swinging….er, tweeting. Instead of instilling stability and confidence he has moved up General Mattis’ departure to January 1st, 2019, has convinced Treasury Secretary Mnunchin to call the big banks to make sure there is liquidity and has discussed “firing” Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Jerome Powell. Remember the tweet for everything?

At this point in his presidency, Trump is barely above break even at 3.51%. At the same time, 705 days in, President Obama saw gains of 56.07%. The greatest economy and jobs president ever, eh?

670 Days In

On the day before Thanksgiving, many are giving thanks for their stock market investments. Unfortunately, the market has plummeted since the top at the beginning of October 2018. Many of the big name tech stocks are down over 40% in just two months. Note that this comes after a huge run up in the last several years. So, where does President Trump stand against President Obama at the same time in their presidency? President Trump has seen the S&P 500 increase 16.67% while President Obama saw the same index increase 48.15% from inauguration to their second Thanksgiving in office.

640 Days In

In the last few months we have seen a huge divergence when it comes to stock market returns under President Obama and President Trump. In June 2018 President Trump enforced his tariffs on China and the market has been choppy ever since. In fact, all material stocks have plummeted to 52 week and multi year lows. Two weeks prior to the midterms in 2018, the market is up just under 20% since Trump became president. In 2010, two weeks prior to midterms, the market was up over 47% since Obama took office in early 2009.

Overall, the market direction looks very poor heading into late 2018. All three indices are now below their 200 day moving averages and most investors have seen their money break even for the year. This is under the “greatest jobs president ever”. Only time will tell, but President Obama is significantly ahead when it comes to return on investment in the stock market while in office.

575 Days In

During the second year of the Obama administration, the stock market basically moved sideways to down. The same has happened with the Trump administration although Trump has seen slight gains on the S&P 500. We have seen the Trump administration close the game as the S&P 500 is up 24.08% since he took office while the Obama administration saw gains of just over 34% 575 days after he took office.

475 Days In

Year number two under President Trump has been significantly less fulfilling for investors. In fact, many are down in 2018. In a time when President Trump had a chance to catch up with President Obama’s slow second year gains, the market has moved sideways. Mr. Trump has seen the S&P 500 rise 17.64% in 475 days while Mr. Obama saw a rise of 37.95% in the same amount of time.

425 Days In

In the last few months President Trump has been silent about the stock market. For good reason. Since the 1100 point drop on February 5th, 2018 the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 have moved sideways to down. After announcing tariffs and potentially starting a trade war with the rest of the world, Trump has given investors some jitters. A little over a year in, the Obama administration saw the overall market up 44.78% while the Trump administration has seen gains of just 16.39%.

375 Days In

After boasting about the “mighty” stock market, the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped more than 1100 points on February 5th, 2018. This puts all major indices in the red for 2018 after having a very strong start in January. The fundamentals are still very strong, but Trump is not the greatest president for the stock market. No matter what he says. Just under 400 days in an Obama saw 32% gains while Trump has seen 17% gains.

300 Days In

Donald Trump continues to tweet about the overall growth of the stock market and the jobs he is creating. We are 300 days into his administration and the overall market is up 13.54%. This is very good but nothing compared to the gain during the first 300 days of the Obama administration which was 37.76%.

250 Days In

Anyone that claims that Trump has been amazing for the stock market is using “alternative facts”. While the market being up 9.9% in 250 days is good, it is not even above average. The average stock market return during the 1980s and 1990s was 18%. Since the 1970s, the stock market has averaged over 12% on a yearly basis.

So, do not let anyone convince you the stock market is doing much better with Trump in office. In reality, it is doing about what it normally does, maybe even a little bit worse when you look at the sectors that he was supposed to improve so much – steel, infrastructure, construction. For more on the touted Trump stocks click here.


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