In 100 days one can:
- Sequentially boil 48,000 three minute eggs
- Enjoy nearly 1,372 viewings of The Usual Suspects (a tally I’ll admit to being embarrassingly close to achieving)
- Assemble evidence to render an arbitrary judgment on the accomplishments of a newly-elected US President
Tomorrow marks the end of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. In 1933, FDR pioneered the concept of the first 100 days. And though Roosevelt was actually referring to the first 100 days of the 73rd U.S. Congress – rather than those of his administration – the milestone has become a common reference point to judge the successes(?) of a new President.
So in the spirit of arbitrary judgments, listed below is the performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the first 100 days of every Presidential administration since FDR introduced the concept. Much has been written about the advance of the US equity markets in the early days of the Trump administration – so how does it measure up historically?
The overwhelming winner is FDR’s first First 100 Days. As always, context is key. Roosevelt and Congress were working feverishly to confront a banking panic and the markets clearly benefited from their efforts. The recent advance under Trump ranks 6th on the list trailing: FDR #1, Obama #2, G.H.W. Bush, JFK and FDR #4. More often than not (~60% of the time) the DJIA posts a positive return during a President’s early days.
Note that the early days of administrations that came to power due to tragic (i.e. Truman #1 and LBJ #1) or ignominious (i.e. Ford) circumstances are not included here.
Lastly, banking panic notwithstanding it’s remarkable that FDR and Congress worked together to pass 15 major pieces of legislation in such a short time. Those were the days, huh?