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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.

NRA files for bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for voluntary bankruptcy as part of a restructuring plan.

Driving the news: The gun rights group said it would reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment." Last year, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.