President Trump does the unimaginable. He breaks the market all-time records for the DOW and the S&P on the last day of crazy 2020.
Wall Street closed out a tumultuous year for stocks with more record highs Thursday, a fitting coda to the market’s stunning comeback from its historic plunge in the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.
The benchmark S&P 500 index finished with a gain of 16.3% for the year, or a total return of about 18.4%, including dividends. The Nasdaq composite, powered by high-flying Big Tech stocks, soared 43.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 7.2%, with Apple and Microsoft leading the way.
The market’s milestone-setting finish follows a mostly upward grind for stocks in recent weeks, fueled by cautious optimism that the U.S. economy and corporate profits will bounce back in 2021 now that the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is under way.
“We came into the year expecting slow growth and it turned out to be the fastest bear market recovery in history,” said Sunitha Thomas, national portfolio advisor at Northern Trust Wealth Management.
The virus pandemic shocked markets early in the year. The S&P 500 fell 8.4% in February, then plunged 12.5% in March as the pandemic essentially froze the global economy. Businesses shut down in the face of the virus threat and tighter government restrictions. People shifted to working, shopping and doing pretty much everything else from home.
The dire economic situation weighed heavily on almost any company that relied on direct consumer spending or a physical presence, including airlines, restaurants, hotels and mall-based retailers.
With the meteoric rise in the markets since the COVID collapse in March, President Trump reigns over the greatest bull market and the greatest bear market reversal in history. These records will likely never be broken for a number of reasons.
Per our calculations:
- President Trump has overseen the two greatest market increases in history. The markets increased by over 12,000 points (12,071) from the date President Trump won the 2016 election (18,333) to today (30,404). No President has seen the DOW increase in a similar period of time. This past year since March, the markets did it again from a low of 18,591 on March 23. This will never be matched.
- President Trump has over seen the largest single day increase in DOW history (2,113 on March 24, 2020).
- President Trump saw the fastest increase between major market milestones of 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000, 9000, 10,000 and 11,000 point increases in the DOW.
- President Trump set the record for the most all time highs in a single year in DOW history (71 in 2017).
- President Trump set the record for the most all time highs for a President in his first year in office (2017).
- President Trump set the record for the largest annual increase in the DOW in history (5,211 in 2019).
- President Trump tied Ronald Reagan for the most all-time highs for the DOW in a row (12 in January 87 and February 2017).
- To date the DOW is up 2/3 or 66% since President Trump won the 2016 election.