With Q1 winding down in the next two days, we thought it would be a good time to review the performance of the S&P 500 since Donald Trump was elected last November and play a quick game of “Guess the Chart.” As shown in the chart below, the S&P 500 rallied hard following the election, traded sideways for several weeks, and then rallied into early March before backing off the rest of the month. Even after the pullback, though, the S&P 500 is still up just under 11% and not far from its bull market highs.
The next chart also shows performance from Election Day through the end of Q1. This mystery chart has seen a similar but much more volatile pattern than the one of the S&P 500 above. Like the S&P 500, it rallied following the election, traded sideways for several weeks, and then spiked higher into early March before backing off its highs towards the end of March. Can you guess the chart?
Give up yet? The “Mystery Chart” above isn’t from Election Day 2016 through now, but instead from Election Day 2008 through the end of Q1 2009. We also forgot to mention that it is upside down. Can you guess it now? It’s actually the inverse of the S&P 500. It’s not a surprise that the market has seen such different reactions between late 2008/early 2009 and now. Circumstances couldn’t have been more different on just about every measure, but if you are a bull, going forward you have to hope that the differences in performance end here. Below is the real (non-inverse) version of the S&P from Election Day 2008 through Q1 2009.