Thursday, April 9, 2009

Obama and the S&P 500

The Standard & Poors 500 stock index rose almost 4 percent today to close at 856.56. The S&P 500 has risen more than 28 percent from its low point early last month.

The close marks an interesting milestone. On Friday, January 16, the last full trading day of the Bush administration, the S&P 500 closed at 850.12. After the new President was inaugurated, stocks fell. The S&P 500 briefly rallied and closed above the 850 mark in early February but then plummeted for the next month. Today is the first day since February that the S&P 500 has eclipsed the pre-inauguration mark.

The NASDAQ index is also higher than it was on January 16, while the Dow Jones Industrial average, which closed today at 8,083.38, remains below its pre-Obama mark of 8,281.22.

The S&P 500 is still down 5 percent for the year. And the economy still hasn't begun its recovery.

For a few days, however, the new President can point to some positive news.