State of the stock market

President Obama is expected to lay out his economic vision in the State of the Union address this evening. Here's the state of the U.S. stock market.

Markets rarely move on State of the Union speech

January 20th marked the third anniversary of Obama's presidency.  According to the folks at Wilshire Associates, the annual return of US stocks, as measured by the Wilshire 5000, has averaged 21.2% annually.  This tops the performance of the previous four presidents.

The stock market soared in the first year of Obama's presidency and had the second best second year of the past five presidents. The third year, traditionally the best year in the presidential cycle for stocks, Obama came in last by a long shot, as the other presidents all had double digit gains.

George W. Bush was the only president with negative returns for his first three years of office.  In his last year of his second term, the market plunged about 38%.

The state of the stock market is not so bad.  As of the market close on Jan. 23, the total return (including dividends) of the Wilshire 5000 is only 5.0% below the all-time high on Oct. 9, 2007, when George W. Bush was president.  Markets plunged over the next year and a half but have now nearly recovered.