MSNBC Fails To Do Basic Math

MSNBC tried to use misleading statistics to show the stock market in the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency performed better than the first year of Donald Trump’s, but a look at the real gains tell a very different story.

The network crunched the numbers and calculated percentage growth in the stock market in the first 11 months of Obama versus the first 11 months of the Trump administration. It found that the Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 29.9 percent in Obama’s first year and 25 percent under Trump. Similarly, the network found the S&P 500 grew 18.5 percent more in Obama’s first year than Trump’s.

The first thing to note here is that MSNBC’s calculation of the growth rate is off.

When Obama took office in 2009, the Dow slumped to 7,949.09 — the lowest inaugural performance for the benchmark index in its history. Roughly one year later, the Dow closed Dec. 21 on 10,414.44. If the network used the period from Jan. 20 to Dec. 20, 2009, the true percentage growth rate would be 31.01. On the other hand, if they chose to start with the Dow’s closing value on Jan. 21, 2009, the rate would be roughly 26.57 percent.


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