US stocks have performed very well so far under President Donald Trump — but not quite as well as they did under some of his recent predecessors.
The S&P 500 (SPX), the broad measure of stocks of the 500 largest US companies, is up 29% since Trump took office in January 2017. But they were up 46% during the same 645 day period at the start of President Barack Obama’s tenure.
Trump’s stock market also lags a bit behind the 36% gain during the same period at the start of President George H.W. Bush from 1989 through mid-1991, and the 29% rise at the start of President Bill Clinton’s tenure.
But stocks during the Trump administration have outperformed the 23% rise at the start of President Ronald Reagan’s tenure in 1981 to 1983. The only president in the past six administrations to see stocks decline early in his tenure was President George W. Bush. The S&P fell 26% following the bursting of the Internet stock bubble nearly a year before he took office.
The percentage changes were calculated through the close of trading Tuesday, and the comparable period in the earlier administrations. Stocks rallied on Tuesday with news that the United States was delaying some tariffs from taking effect.
US markets had their setbacks as well as gains throughout Trump’s tenure.
Stocks had their worst year since the financial meltdown of 2008 last year. In the final 3 months of last year the S&P fell 14%, leaving it down for the year. But it has roared back this year, gaining 17% year to date.