Why the last good State of the Union speaker was Bill Clinton

Joe Biden will be giving his State of the Union Address tonight, and people are wondering how his talk might impact the market over the next several days. I have looked at performance following State of the Union before and decided to update that research today. The data table below looks back to 1982. There were a few instances, such as 2001 and 2009 where the speech was not an official “State of the Union”, but was delivered under a different name. I have included those speeches in the results as well.

SPX performance following State of the Union address since 1982 appears without a strong edge over the next few days.

The stats do not suggest much of an edge. But the profit curves seem to tell a more interesting story. Here is the 5-day curve.

Performance following State of the Union was strong from 1982 - 2000 and weak since.

All the curves look something like this in that since the turn of the century (Bill Clinton’s last year) the market has tumbled after these speeches rather than been inspired by them. I guess they just don’t give speeches like they used to.