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President Donald Trump has reached a major milestone in his presidency: His 100th day in office.
And although Trump’s presidential victories since after he took the oath of office on Jan. 20 have been thin on the ground as he confronts major headwinds in implementing many of the pro-growth initiatives that helped him to win the Nov. 8 election against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, the market has been resilient.
Trump has described the first 100 days as an arbitrary gauge of a president’s early performance, but it is still a milestone that many pay attention to:
No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2017
So far, over the century mark (stock performance data are through Friday’s close), the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.19% has climbed 6.12%, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.19% has notched a 5.32% gain since Trump’s inauguration. (Since his election win, the Dow has climbed 14.22%, the S&P 500 has advanced 11.43%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.02% has returned 16.45%.).
The relatively positive returns in equities, however, belie intensifying doubts about Trump’s ability to overhaul taxes, loosen Wall Street regulations and boost infrastructure spending quickly, if at all. Those factors have represented a trio of fiscal-stimulus pledges that catapulted the market to a fresh string of records over the past six months. But Trump’s difficulties in getting a health-care bill to replace Obamacare to a vote have raised doubts about the real estate tycoon’s negotiating skills.
The White House’s strained relationship with Russia in the wake of the U.S.’s missile strike on Syria and mounting tensions with North Korea also threaten to disrupt the market’s otherwise bullish buzz.
So far, the S&P 500’s performance since the inauguration places Trump second for a GOP leader, behind George H.W. Bush’s second term, according to Dow Jones data.
Overall, that would put him fifth for S&P 500 performance over his first 100 days (see table below, which tracks the first 100 days of all presidential terms since Herbert Hoover’s—the index was created in 1923 and expanded in 1926 and 1957, when it first comprised 500 stocks).
Meanwhile, the Dow’s return puts Trump seventh among all presidential terms, in the 120-year history of the blue-chip gauge (see table below):
To be sure, market participants have been jittery over the market’s lofty valuations and growing risk factors. Many are wagering that U.S. equities are due for a correction—that is, a decline from a recent peak of at least 10%—in the coming days and weeks. However, that hasn’t quite panned out, highlighted by the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.02% closing at a milestone of 6,000 for the first time ever on Tuesday.