Note: Chart shows total return of the Russell 3000 index with Jan. 1, 1979 = 100. Growth rate is calculated as the compound annual growth rate over the 4 or 8 years from inauguration. Data: Factset; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

President Trump has been good for the stock market — but not as good as most of his predecessors.

Why it matters: Americans with substantial wealth tied up in stocks have an incentive to vote for the candidate who will be best for their portfolio. Presidents don't have a huge effect on the stock market, but overall Democrats have outperformed Republicans in recent history.

By the numbers: Stocks have risen by an annualized 13.7% over the course of the Trump administration, if you look at total return with dividends reinvested. That's a very healthy performance, but it still lags Reagan (14.1%), George H.W. Bush (15.1%), Obama (16.5%), and Clinton (16.7%).

  • Only George W. Bush oversaw a worse performance for the stock market than Trump in modern times, because Bush was the president in office during the global financial crisis.

A 2004 Federal Reserve study of the 1927-98 period found that "neither risk nor return varies significantly across the presidential cycle."

Be smart: Correlation is not causation, and most presidents sensibly try to take neither credit nor blame for stock-market performance.

Our thought bubble: The bull case for Trump is that he would continue to implement low-tax policies that are favorable to big business. The bull case for Biden is that he would use fiscal policy to ensure higher employment and income for the bottom 90% of consumers — which in turn would drive stronger economic growth.

The bottom line: It's impossible to know which man would be better for stocks, making this one of the rare issues that doesn't much help people who will decide between the candidates in November.

Go deeper

Biden campaign bans staffers from using TikTok, trading stocks without approval

Photo: Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign is asking staffers to delete TikTok from their phones and forbidding them from trading individual stocks without first getting approval from the campaign's general counsel, according to Bloomberg News.

Why it matters: Biden is seeking to draw a contrast with President Trump and members of his family and administration, whom Democrats have accused of profiting from his presidency.

Updated Jul 28, 2020 - Economy & Business

America's two coronavirus realities

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The coronavirus-driven recession is creating two parallel economic realities and they are growing further apart by the day.

What's happening: Many people with financial assets and white-collar jobs have actually benefited from the economic downturn, while the rest of the country is doing its best to stay afloat.

GOP plans "nightly surprise" for revamped convention

President Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Photo: Bill Clark/Getty Images

The reworked Republican National Convention will be a four-night spectacle including still-under-wraps venues, a 10 p.m. "nightly surprise" and guests and themes playing to "the forgotten men and women of America," two senior Trump campaign officials involved tell Axios.

Driving the news: The messaging will focus heavily on "very granular details" of what a second term for President Trump would look like — answering a question Trump left hanging in a Fox News event earlier this summer — and attack cancel culture, "radical elements" of society and threats to public safety.