George H.W. Bush

2019 stock market gains still leave Trump behind his predecessors

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

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.

Trump’s incredibly empty Cabinet

Data: FiveThirtyEight, department websites; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

No president in recent history has started their tenure with as many extended Cabinet vacancies as President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump has been happy to fill many of the positions with "acting" officials, saying it "gives me more flexibility." But it adds instability when so many departments are without permanent leaders — and acting secretaries don't go through the scrutiny and vetting that they'd get with Senate confirmation.