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The stock market’s performance during Biden’s first 100 days has officially bested everyone from Trump back through Truman

Fortune logo Fortune 4/29/2021 Anne Sraders
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Stocks are booming under Biden.

In the 100 days since President Joe Biden was sworn in on Jan. 20, the stock market has risen 9.3%, making it the best first-100-days stretch for stocks under a new president since President Franklin D. Roosevelt's astronomical gains in 1933, per LPL Financial data. (That's based on the [hotlink ignore="true"]Dow[/hotlink] Jones Industrial Average's close the day prior to the inauguration through Wednesday's close.) The S&P 500, meanwhile, is up over 10% since Biden assumed office.

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Per LPL, the [hotlink ignore="true"]Dow[/hotlink] has returned an average 4.3% under the first 100 days of a new president. And notably Biden's record tops his predecessor President Donald Trump's stock performance for the same timeframe (up 6%).

Certainly, presidents don't have much control over how the stock market performs. But if anything, LPL's chief market strategist [hotlink ignore="true"]Ryan[/hotlink] Detrick argues "we think it means, whether you like Joe Biden's policies or not, the stock market is saying things are getting better," he tells Fortune.

To be sure, the market isn't necessarily a good gauge of the health of an economy, and the one Biden inherited is still forging its way back to health. But Detrick notes "the stock market is a leading indicator for the economy, and with stocks doing this well the last 100 days, … it's saying there are some positive things on the horizon."

Indeed, the economy has been roaring back from the depths of the pandemic; GDP for the first quarter grew an ample 6.4%, and corporate earnings season is off to a very strong start. As for the market, stocks have continued to hit new highs.

'Faster and bolder'

Biden made it clear from the outset that his administration was aiming to be all about action.

Since his inauguration, President Biden has signed multiple executive orders and a massive $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, and accelerated the pace of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Biden has also proposed other big spending packages aimed at infrastructure and social programs like child care and education.

According to Ed Mills, Washington policy analyst at Raymond James, "We’re seeing an administration that is acting faster and bolder than most people would have expected," he tells Fortune.

Still, much of the boost Biden is getting in the markets may be due to the fact that, "The economy continues to recover, COVID continues to get better, and I think that Biden is getting the political benefit of that, at least so far," suggests Mills. And with huge stimulus spending and an ever-accommodative Federal Reserve, LPL's Detrick argues "you could say President Biden came into a pretty good situation with the dovish Fed and reopening." In that sense, he suggests the market would "probably" be doing well regardless of who was president.

Not all of Biden's proposals are being embraced by the business community, including his intention to raise the corporate tax rate and capital gains tax. But Mills believes the Street is "pricing in" an "increase in investment taxes, but probably in the 28% range," he says, instead of Biden's proposed 39.6% figure.

And those like LPL's Detrick point out that, regardless of how investors feel, none of these policies come as any surprise to the Street (Biden is "doing what he said he's gonna do").

Still, the threat of rising inflation and the upcoming bearish seasonality of the next few months for the market could put a dampener on things.

But for Detrick, "to put a bow on it, the market is clearly okay with President Biden's policies ... [and] the way he's taken the first 100 days on the job," Detrick suggests. "Because if the market wasn't, we wouldn't be doing what we've been doing."

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

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