By this market measure, Trump's transition 'was the smoothest ever'

The world only seems to have fallen off its axis since Donald Trump won the presidential election. In the more cloistered confines of Wall Street, the last 11 weeks have been a picture of serenity.

In fact, by one measure — the stock market's — the Trump transition has no equal in terms of stability.

Using the Dow Jones industrial average as a guide, the market has only once gone up more in aggregate in the period between the election and inauguration. Over the same period, the Dow has never in history veered less on any given trading day from its close the day before.

The index rose a total of 7.62 percent in this most recent postelection period, and never fell more than 1.2 percent from its closing high the day before, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

Those numbers are nearly unprecedented going back to 1896 and the election of William McKinley. The only larger gain came under Herbert Hoover from 1928-29 of 21.85 percent. The least the market fell from its highs, aside from the Trump move, was 2.7 percent for Bill Clinton in 1992-93 and 2.9 percent for Dwight Eisenhower.


To be sure, the Trump rally was front-loaded.

The market actually began rising four days before the Nov. 8 election after a long period of fairly flat trading and peaked around Dec. 20. The Dow has been little changed or slightly lower since.

The CBOE Volatility Index, meanwhile, remains well below its historical level around 20 and has never gone above 15 since the election.


So while the debate over what the Trump presidency holds for the future will rage on, the market has spoken clearly — at least so far.

"With a maximum decline of 1.2 percent from a closing high, no other newly elected president has ever seen a less volatile transition period!" Bespoke said in a note. "Call it whatever you want, but from the stock market's perspective at least, the Trump transition was the smoothest ever."

Correction: The gain under Herbert Hoover was from 1928-29. An earlier version misstated the years.