President Donald Trump loves talking about the stock market. And how much it’s gone up.
Since November 9, 2016, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up over 27%; the benchmark S&P 500 is up 20% over the same period. Twice in the last week Trump has referenced the blue chip index, which closed above 23,000 for the first time last week.
The Dow was trading near 23,450 on Tuesday morning. Stocks were in rally mode with the Dow leading the three major averages — which also includes the tech-heavy Nasdaq — after strong earnings from Caterpillar (CAT) powering the blue chip index higher.
“Stock Market just hit another record high!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning during this rally. “Jobs looking very good.”
Earlier this month, we highlighted Trump’s argument that the stock market would rise by “leaps and bounds” if tax reform were to be passed. Wall Street analysts are somewhat split on whether the market’s rally is “pricing in” tax cuts — that is, reflecting expectations that tax cuts will pass — or if a tax package would be an additional boost to a market enjoying its best year since 2013.
Trump’s contention is that tax cuts, and the benefits that would accrue to the stock market and the U.S. economy, are not being fully appreciated by markets.
Last week, however, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the stock market’s rally would be imperiled by a failure for Congress to pass tax reform, which runs somewhat counter to Trump’s view that the market hasn’t been appreciating the potential benefits of lower taxes.
As we noted at the time, however, it isn’t clear that markets have been all that sensitive to developments related to tax reform, which data from Goldman Sachs showing that stocks most likely to benefit from lower taxes have underperformed all year. This points to investors not putting much stock in a potential tax plan, and yet stocks have still risen as a whole.
Overall, however, it seems that Trump is sticking with a position staked out by Mnuchin back in February that the stock market could “absolutely” be seen as a report card for the administration’s economic programs. As we noted back in August, however, just over half of American adults have any exposure to the stock market, meaning many Americans are seeing no direct gains from the rise in stock prices.
“Stock Market hits another all time high on Friday,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “5.3 trillion dollars up since Election. Fake News doesn’t spent much time on this!”
Yahoo Finance will continue to cover the market’s moves.
Myles Udland is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @MylesUdland
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