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This Day In Market History: Nixon Urges Americans To Buy Stocks

This Day In Market History: Nixon Urges Americans To Buy Stocks

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On this day 51 years ago, U.S. President Richard Nixon encouraged Americans to buy stocks.

Where The Market Was: The Dow finished the day at 724.33. The S&P 500 traded at 80.27.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 1970, 600,000 people attended the Isle of Wight music festival, making it the largest rock festival in history at that point. The Concorde became the world’s first supersonic passenger-carrying commercial airplane. A gallon of gasoline cost 36 cents.

Nixon’s Bullish Take: On April 28, 1970, President Nixon told Americans exactly what they should be doing with their extra cash.

“If I had spare cash, I'd buy stocks now,” Nixon said.

As it turns out, America didn’t listen to Nixon’s advice. The S&P 500 and Dow each dropped 2% in the week following Nixon’s message. A year later, Nixon’s advice had proved timely. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow were up more than 30% from where they were when Nixon made his recommendation.

It was a rare bright spot in what would turn out to be a brutal decade for investors. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed out 1979 up a paltry 4.8% for the decade.

Nixon himself had a rough go of it in the 1970s as well. In August 1974, Nixon became the first U.S. president to ever resign from the position in the face of impeachment proceedings related to his involvement in the Watergate scandal.


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