The S&P 500 closed at another record high on Thursday, December 23, at 4,726 but a bit below its all-time intra-day high of 4,744 on November 22. This was the S&P 500’s 68th all-time high during 2021 even as the Omicron Covid variant and the Fed becoming more hawkish impacted stocks. The Dow 30 Industrials is only 1.3% under its all-time high and the Nasdaq is 2.5% below.
The market’s broadest measure has performed better under Biden than Trump
By President Trump’s favorite measure of success President Biden’s post-election stock market gains in the most widely used benchmark have beaten Trump’s handily. Using the returns from the time the election was called in Biden’s favor to late December vs. when Trump was called the winner the evening of his, Biden’s S&P 500 performance is 9.2% better than Trump’s. Biden’s Dow return is 8.1% lower, while the Nasdaq is 2.4% lower.
Since their inauguration dates Trump’s Dow and Nasdaq returns are ahead of Biden’s by 9.2% and 7.0%, respectively, but Biden’s S&P 500 return has returned 5.9% more than Trump’s. Since the S&P 500 is the Index most often used to passively invest funds, it matters the most to investors. The stock market has not “disintegrated and disappeared” under Biden as Trump proclaimed.
Biden’s Dow performance has trailed Trump’s
On the Tuesday in 2016 the election was held between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton the Dow 30 Industrials closed at 18,333. The Index responded positively to Trump’s victory, called on the same evening, and continued on a fairly steady uptrend into late December 2017.
- From Tuesday, November 8, close: Up 6,421 or 35.0%
- From January 19 (the day before the Inauguration): Up 5,022 or 25.4%
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On the Tuesday of the election between Trump and Biden the Index closed at 28,323. It also increased the next three days with Biden in the lead but the election had not been called. The Monday after the election was called the Index gapped upwards and rose until early November 2021 (after weakness in September and October) and has trailed off a bit since then. Biden’s returns have trailed Trump’s from their elections being called and inauguration by 8.1% and 9.2%, respectively.
- From Tuesday, November 3, close: Up 8,471 or 30.8%
- From Friday, November 6, close: Up 7,627 or 26.9%
- From January 19 (the day before the Inauguration): Up 5,020 or 16.2%
Biden’s S&P 500’s performance still routing Trump’s
Trump saw a smaller gain in the S&P 500 vs. the Dow 30. It rose 25.4% from his election day and 18.5% from his inauguration to late September 2017.
- From Tuesday, November 8, close: Up 544 or 25.4%
- From January 19 (the day before the Inauguration): Up 420 or 18.5%
Between Biden’s election being called and last Thursday, the S&P 500 returns were considerably better than the Dow’s. Biden’s market returns were also significantly above Trump’s by 9.2% from when the election was called and 5.9% from his inauguration.
- From Tuesday, November 3, close: Up 1,357 or 40.3%
- From Friday, November 6, close: Up 1,216 or 34.7%
- From January 19 (the day before the Inauguration): Up 927 or 24.4%
Biden’s NASDAQ’s performance lags Trump’s
The post-election to late October timeframe saw Trump’s 34.0% NASDAQ performance almost matching his Dow 30 gain of 35.0% and post-inauguration gain of 25.6% inching out the Dow’s 25.4%.
- From Tuesday, November 8, close: Up 1,766 or 34.0%
- From January 19 (the day before the Inauguration): Up 1,420 or 25.6%
Biden’s Nasdaq performance has also been weak since November. While it is still the second best performing Index of the three, it lags Trump’s in both timeframes.
- From Tuesday, November 3, close: Up 4,493 or 40.3%
- From Friday, November 6, close: Up 3,758 or 31.6%
- From January 19 (the day before the Inauguration): Up 2,456 or 18.6%