Obama vs. Reagan in Five Charts
Then there's the health of the stock market as measured by the performance of the S&P 500. A glance at quarter-to-quarter volatility of the index shows a roller coaster of swings for both presidents' first terms.
The worst S&P slump during Reagan's first four years was an 11.5% drop from the June 1981 close to the September 1981 close. But the index gained 16.8% during its most robust period -- the end of September 1982 to the December 1982 close.
By comparison, Obama's saw the biggest S&P gains early -- it jumped 15.2% during the second quarter of his first year. But the S&P has also experienced double-digit losses in two quarters of Obama's presidency -- an 11.9% drop in the second quarter of 2010 and a 14.3% drop in third quarter of 2011.
The S&P closed on Reagan's Inauguration Day at 131.65 and it rose to 153.88 by May 22, 1984. That's a 16.9% gain.
On Obama's Inauguration Day, the index finished at 805.22. The index closed at 1,316.63 on Tuesday, marking a 63.4% gain.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.
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