Historical Returns for Newly Elected Presidents

Back in the 1/20/2009 blog I looked at inauguration day returns.  I wondered at the time whether a new president brought about new hope and optimism for the market. I have decided to update that study today.

I limited the instances to only those inaugurations where a new president was entering office. I don’t think re-elections carry a sense of “new hope” the way a new president does. I also eliminated inaugurations of Presidents that weren’t elected (Ford in ’74, Johnson in ’63, Truman in ’45, and Coolidge in ‘23). I just don’t believe the same sense of excitement is generated by a replacement as by a newly elected president. The remaining presidents and their inaugurations can be found in the table below.

Dow Returns On/After New Presidential Inaugurations

First, I found it interesting that the wonderful speeches and overall positive vibes surrounding a new president did NOT translate to a strong Inauguration Day performance. (You could throw out Roosevelt and G.W. Bush here, since the market was not open on the days they were inaugurated.) I’ll also note that Donald Trump could (and certainly would) claim he gave the greatest Inauguration Day speech of the last 100 years, since the 0.48% rise on that day was the best of any president on the actual Inauguration Day. It could also be claimed that Obama gave the worst speech in 100 years, since the Dow tumbled 4% on the day of his inauguration.

I’ll also note that looking out over the next 10 and 75 days the market did often seem to embrace the new hope that comes along with a new administration. Harding in 1921 is the only one on the list that saw the market more than 3.5% lower 75 days out. Meanwhile, there were 6 instances where the market was more than 3.5% higher.

Lastly, I’ll note that the seasonal analysis done here is different than the new Seasonality Calendar features we have. I’d encourage you to learn more about the new Quantifiable Edges Seasonality Calendars.

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