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Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump has presided over a stock market surge since taking office in 2017, but he's been outpaced by three of his four predecessors.

By the numbers: The S&P 500 grew by 44.5% since Trump's inauguration through the end of October 2020. This comes up short of former President Obama's 66.1% through the comparable time period, but well above the -15.8% for former President George W. Bush.

  • Trump's market performance also trails Obama in terms of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, although it tops Obama when it comes to the Nasdaq.

Context: Obama took office in the midst of an economic recession, so much of his S&P 500 performance was a rebound from the depths. Trump inherited a bull market that continued to rampage, outside of a brief dip early in the pandemic.

Be smart: The S&P 500 measures how investors view the health of large American companies, not how healthy the American economy may or may not be.

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

6 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

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