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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."

Updated 2 hours ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

3 hours ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.

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