2019 stock market gains still leave Trump behind his predecessors
The S&P 500 has jumped 42% under President Trump — according to market data from the inauguration through 2019's final day of trading.
Why it matters: Trump uses the stock market's surge as a barometer of his presidency's success — one that, along with the 50-year low unemployment rate, he's sure to continue to tout as the 2020 election approaches — but the gains under him lag those under former Presidents Barack Obama, when stocks rebounded from the lows of the financial crisis, and George H.W. Bush.
- Even if you count the 2016 post-election day market rally, the S&P's performance is still behind former President George H.W. Bush (measuring from election day through the end of the third year in office).
The bottom line: Only about half of Americans own stocks, "largely through retirement accounts," as the Washington Post notes, citing Federal Reserve data.
- Meanwhile, Trump's trade war, which added to stock market volatility, has cut into the financial well-being of America's farmers.