Former Vice President Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th U.S. president on Wednesday, and his to-do-lists will run extraordinarily long as he attempts to drag the country out of the worst pandemic in a century, and mend fractures in American politics.
But by at least one measure, Biden supporters might point to the incoming president’s bullish impact on the stock market since the Nov. 3 election as one early accomplishment, even if it’s hard to pin all of the recent gains on the change in regime from Donald Trump to Biden.
Looking back historically, the all-time champion for Election Day to Inauguration Day performance was the one-term Republican President Herbert Hoover, with a 13.3% rally in the S&P 500 index
between his Nov. 6, 1928 election and his first day in office.
In the 11 weeks between the Nov. 3 election and Tuesday, the S&P 500 was up a dazzling 12.76%, according to FactSet data.
That return places Biden in the No. 2 slot in performance, after Republican Hoover, with an outside shot of eclipsing the one-term Iowan commander-in-chief, who served from 1929 to 1933, and found his legacy tied to soup lines and economic crisis.
Hoover’s presidency was marred by the 1929 stock market crash that occurred roughly eight months into his tenure and would eventually be viewed by many as the starting point of the Great Depression.
Biden, however, hopes for a more auspicious presidency, even though his term begins during a dire stretch of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, the U.S. topped a milestone of over 400,000 reported deaths from COVID-19, as the deadly pathogen that took hold nearly a year ago sees a fresh resurgence.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has been reeling in the aftermath of an apparent insurrection, where thousands of protesters, namely those claiming to be Trump supporters, stormed the Capitol two weeks ago, leading to a historic second impeachment of the 45th president who was blamed for helping to incite the riots that led to the death of five people.
Perhaps, more than any other president, Trump hitched his success as a leader to the performance of the economy and the stock market, which collapsed amid the fallout from the viral outbreak. Trump’s election loss was largely tied to his handling of the public health crisis.
The pandemic colored the U.S. presidential election, compelling a historic number of remote votes to limit the spread of the virus and delaying the returns in some states. The Associated Press didn’t declare Biden the victor in key states until Nov. 7.
And although Biden has had a hand in the market’s recent advance for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
and the Nasdaq Composite Index
since November, gains also have come amid the rollout of vaccines with high reported efficacy from Pfizer
helping to bolster hopes for a near-term economic recovery from the epidemic.