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Justin Fox

How Trump’s Stock Market Record Stacks Up

He’s no Harry Truman, but there’s no doubt the S&P 500 has done well since the 2016 election.

He keeps on charging

He keeps on charging

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It’s been three years now since Donald Trump was elected president, which means it’s been three years of listening to Donald Trump bragging about how great the stock market is doing. Contrary to one now-infamous pre-election prediction, it has done quite well.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and other market indices are of course imperfect economic indicators. They reflect investors’ beliefs about how well publicly traded corporations are doing and will do in the future, not necessarily the reality of how publicly traded corporations are doing — or of how well the rest of us are doing. The indices most cited in the media also mainly reflect the fortunes of the largest corporations; even as the Dow and S&P 500 have been setting new records lately, the small-cap Russell 2000 is down 9% from its peak in August 2018.