The big stock winners of the Obama years were a beauty store chain, a shopping mall owner, Netflix and consumer discretionary companies like Under Armour. The losers were companies linked to oil and gas as commodities prices plunged.
When Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009, the U.S. stock market was in free fall. The financial crisis was in full swing following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Standard Poor’s 500 index, a popular measure of the U.S. stock market, closed at 805 points on Inauguration Day.
Eight years later, the SP 500 index has risen to 2,274 points after one of the great bull runs in stock market history. With Obama as president, the U.S. stock market, as measured by the SP 500, returned 235%, or 16.4% annualized.
The Obama stock market trounced the stock market of his presidential predecessor, George W. Bush, which fell 30.6% from January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2009. Bill Clinton’s stock market, however, beat the Obama stock market, returning 264%, or 17.5% annualized.
The top-performing sector of the Obama stock market was the consumer discretionary sector, which returned 338%, or 20% annualized, according to FactSet Research Systems. The sector was driven by hot stocks like Under Armour and L Brands. Energy stocks were the worst performers during the Obama years as the price of oil and other commodities plunged. But even the energy sector managed to stay in positive territory and eke out a 53% return during Obama’s presidency.
Both Silicon Valley and Wall Street did well under Obama. Information technology was the second-best performing sector of the U.S. stock market during the Obama presidency, returning 285%. And while bankers complained about being political targets and dealt with new regulations limiting their risk-taking activities, Wall Street recovered in the years after banks received bailouts. Financial stocks were the third-best performing sector in the U.S. stock market during the Obama years, rising 261%.
In Obama’s America, the top-performing stock according to FactSet was a chain of beauty stores known for discount deals and based in Bollingbrook, Ill. Ulta Salon, Cosmetics Fragrance has staged a stunning expansion during Obama’s presidency and now operates 949 stores across America, selling 20,000 beauty products ranging from cosmetics to skin care and salon services. Ulta Salon’s stock has returned 4,350% during the Obama years.