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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

U.S. economy sees record growth in third quarter

The U.S. economy grew at a 33.1% annualized pace in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

The state of play: The record growth follows easing of the coronavirus-driven lockdowns that pushed the economy to the worst-ever contraction — but GDP still remains well below its pre-pandemic level.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."