Thursday, August 3, 2017

Stocks Are Up 20% Under Donald Trump. Can It Last?

The president is determined to take ownership of this stock market. Here's where it stands.

By Ben Eisen
The Wall Street Journal
August 3, 2017

Donald Trump is loving the stock market these days.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 22000 for the first time ever on Wednesday, the latest milestone in a yearslong bull market that continues to churn higher. It also marks a rise of 20% since Mr. Trump was elected in November. It took just 183 days to do that, the fastest jump of 20% after a new president was elected since George H.W. Bush in 1988, according to WSJ’s Market Data Group.

That’s not likely to be lost on Mr. Trump, who on Tuesday sent out a Twitter message ahead of the Dow’s new milestone: “Stock Market could hit all-time high (again) 22,000 today. Was 18,000 only 6 months ago on Election Day. Mainstream media seldom mentions!”

Election Day was actually nine months ago, and we’ll have to agree to disagree about the mainstream media’s coverage of stock market records (not to mention his use of commas). But we’ll note that the Dow took 537 days to climb 20% after President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. And it took 1,626 days to climb that much after President George W. Bush was elected right as the dotcom bubble was popping — well into his second term.

President Bill Clinton’s Dow took 308 days to reach that milestone, while the first President Bush took 171 days.

Mr. Trump has returned to stock market stats time and again since he took office. The stock market continues to rise, even as investors grow concerned about a lack of policy accomplishments in Washington, such as tax-code changes and infrastructure spending, that were expected to boost economic growth. At the same time, the Federal Reserve has been inching interest rates higher.

His trumpeting of stock-market records stands in stark contrast to how he characterized the same bull market when he was running for office. At a debate last September, he said about the economy, “The only thing that looks good is the stock market, but if you raise interest rates even a little bit, that’s going to come crashing down. We are in a big fat ugly bubble. And we better be awfully careful.”

‘We are in a big fat ugly bubble. And we better be awfully careful.’ -- D
onald Trump, September 26, 2016

Stock-market strategists have warned that hitching his administration to the market may be dangerous. After all, big gains in the Dow during the early months of a presidency don’t always equate to big gains during the rest of the presidency. The fastest 20% rise following the election of a new president was the 63 days it took after President Herbert Hoover’s win in 1928.

The stock market was riding a period of exuberance at the time that would soon end with the Great Depression. The Dow ended up losing nearly three quarters of its value during Mr. Hoover’s term.

Article Link To The WSJ: