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Stock Markets Perform Much Better Under Democratic Than Republican Presidents

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This primary season, President Obama has been slammed by Republicans like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum over what they believe to be his anti-corporations, job creation-stifling economic policies.
However, Obama might have some fresh ammunition to fire back at his challengers, at least on the standpoint of the health of the stock market. According to Bob Drummond of Bloomberg, the US stock market has performed significantly better over the past five decades under Democratic presidents than to Republican presidents.

Drummonds cites the results of the Bloomberg Government (or BGOV) barometer, which created a hypothetical $1,000 fund that tracked the S&P 500 (^GSPC) when Democrats sit in the White House versus when Republicans hold the office.

What the barometer reveals is that when tracking only the years a Democrat was president, starting with John F. Kennedy, the fund would now be worth some $10,920, representing an increase of 992%. Comparatively, beginning with Richard Nixon to the last day of George W. Bush’s term, the fund would only have reached $2,087, which represents a relatively paltry gain of 109%.

For the 23 years of Democratic presidencies we’ve had since Kennedy, the S&P-tracking fund would have brought an annualized return of 11%, compared to the 2.7% returned under 28 years of Republicans in the White House.

“The market does tend to do better under Democrats than under Republicans,” Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at S&P Equity Research in New York, told Bloomberg. “Is it because Republicans mishandled the economy, or inherited a weak economy? I’ll leave that to others.”

Stovall does note that every post-WWII Republican president has faced a recession in his first term in the Oval Office (“Nine of 11 recessions that began since 1945 -- and seven of eight since Kennedy ran for president in 1960 -- started with Republicans in the Oval Office,” notes Drummond), which would go a long way in demonstrating that it was exogenous factors and not specific partisan presidential policies that affected the performance of the stock market.
While the sample size used in this study is probably too small for the results to have any significant meaning, it should at least put to rest any notion still out there that Democrats are in any way anti-capitalist.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.