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.

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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 19, 2020 - Economy & Business

The Fed is starting to question its own policies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several officials at the Fed are beginning to worry about asset bubbles and excessive risk-taking as a result of their extraordinary policy interventions, James Politi writes for the Financial Times, citing interviews with multiple Fed presidents and members of the Board of Governors.

Details: Some are now pushing for "tougher financial regulation" as concerns grow that monetary policy is "encouraging behavior detrimental to economic recovery and creating pressure for additional bailouts."

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

Louisiana braces for 3rd hurricane in 2 months as Tropical Storm Zeta nears

Municipality workers clean the streets of garbage in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on Tuesday that was left by Zeta, which struck the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 1 Hurricane a day earlier — causing no major damage to infrastructure. Photo: Medios y Media/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to strengthen back into a hurricane and bring dangerous storm surge conditions to parts of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday, ahead of the storm's expected arrival south of New Orleans.