When President Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) slumped to 7,949.09, the lowest inaugural performance for the Dow since its creation. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq took similar hits, dropping 5.3 and 5.8 percent, respectively, and fourth quarter earnings reports were on track to drop more than 20 percent over the previous year's figures. Bank stocks in particular were hit quite hard, with the sector in general declining by 30 percent. Bank of America Corp. dropped 29 percent, and Citigroup Inc. sank a comparatively gentle 20 percent.

While the economic backslide may have seemed to indicate that the America public was less than confident in their newly elected leader, the dip was, instead, widely credited to a continued lack of confidence in the failing economy left behind by the previous administration. Under former President Bush, the stock market took a 2.3 percent fall on an annualized basis, reflecting the 1 percent increase achieved during his first four years and the 5.5 percent decline suffered during his second term. If nothing else, the historic lows of the Bush administration and the shaky beginnings of the Obama years definitely indicate an economy in flux.

Good news, however, was not too long in coming. Despite its inauspicious economic beginnings, the Obama administration has overseen an impressive upswing in the stock market. As of the end of Obama's term on January 20, 2017, the Dow Jones had more than recovered from its January 2009 slump, resting nicely at 19,732.40 for the day, more than double what it was on inauguration day. More importantly, it had maintained a healthy range of 15,660 and 19,974 in 2016. Though there have been intermittent downturns, the Dow's general upward trend speaks well for the Obama administration's efforts at economic recovery.

  1. When was the Dow Jones Industrial Average first calculated?

    Charles Henry Dow was born on a farm in Connecticut on November 6, 1851. Farming didn't suit Charles Dow, however, so he ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) all-time high?

    Inching ever higher, the Dow Jones recorded new highs in May 2015. Since the index was first calculated in 1896, it has grown ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between the Dow and the Nasdaq?

    The Dow refers to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index, while the Nasdaq refers to the Nasdaq Composite Index. Read Answer >>
  4. Why is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) price weighted?

    Learn how the Dow Jones Industrial Average has told the story of the broad market through its simple, price-weighted calculation ... Read Answer >>
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