Now here’s an interesting – um – “tidbit.” Since Barack Obama took office, the stock market is up 67.9 %. That’s fifth best for all presidents since 1900 for a similar time in office. Given that the market was in the toilet when Obama was sworn in and largely had no directionto go but up, and given that presidents generally have little to do with stock market performance, this may or may not mean much. To the extent that the stock market holds itself out as a barometer of future economic performance, it could contain a hopeful message.
For some perspective, the presidents under whom the market performed even better were FDR (best by a wide margin, over 230% increase in his first term), Calvin Coolidge (hardly a harbinger of things to come) Bill Clinton and Dwight Eisenhower. Jeff Sommer does a take on the politics of it all at the New York Times .