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Grading Obama's First 100 Days

Monday, 27 Apr 2009 | 9:44 PM ET
Proof Of Performance
Assessing the President's first 100 days, with Mad Money host Jim Cramer.

Obama's first 100 days in office is the big topic in news right now, and Mad Money is no exception. Unlike a lot of pundits on TV, though, Cramer put his political bias aside. Rather than playing the partisan card, he wanted to judge number 44 on some cold, hard facts. And on Wall Street, there's no better measure than stocks.

Take a look at the market's leaders since Jan. 20, and you'll get a pretty good idea of how Obama has performed as the country's chief executive: JPMorgan Chase jumped 82% since Inauguration Day. Bank of America is up 75%. American Express rose 55%. DuPont gained 18%. IBM and Intel climbed 22% and 19%, respectively. And Home Depot added 19% to its share price.

Banks are the chief indicator of the economy's health, Cramer said, so the huge gains in JPM, BAC and AXP speak directly to Obama's accomplishments. DuPont and Home Depot signal that housing is finding its bottom as well. The run in HD, in particular, since Obama took office shows us that consumers believe, like Cramer, that the sector's turn is coming soon and mortgage refinancing has given them money to spend on home-related wares. The bounce in IBM and Intel means that companies are again spending on IT, something that only happens when these firms expect a turn in the economy. All of this is good news -- for us and Obama. Put simply, we're working our way out of this recession.

Of course, the reverse is also true. So-called safety stocks like Procter & Gamble , Kraft Foods , Merck and others are all down over the same period. These are the names that investors seek out for defense against a recessionary market. So the fact that they're on the decline means investors are less concerned with safety and are starting again to consider growth stocks.

Now General Motors , down 41% since the Obamas moved into the White House, at first looks bad, but Wall Street holds a different perspective. Cramer said the common wisdom is that this, too, is positive proof of the president's handling of the economy. Instead of allowing GM to survive in its current form, Obama is forcing change. Hence, the low common stock price.

These factors combined are enough for Cramer to give President Obama two thumbs up for his first 100 days in office. Stocks are much better judge of performance, he said, than any pundit. And the message these stocks are sending is loud and clear.

Cramer's charitable trust owns Home Depot and JPMorgan Chase.

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money website? madcap@cnbc.com

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