President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has been steadily declining over the past several months at the same time that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been steadily increasing. This inverse relationship between job approval and the stock market is not a common pattern with recent presidents. In fact, Gallup’s analysis of job approval ratings and the Dow going back to 1977 finds few sustained periods where the Dow and presidential approval were strongly related (either positively or negatively)…

A wide variety of factors affect presidential job approval ratings, and a similarly wide array of variables are responsible for the rising and falling of the stock market. It is possible that awareness of a president’s popularity could affect how people relate to the stock market, or that awareness of changes in the stock market could affect how people view the president. But clearly, many other factors could influence trends in both measures, including the very real possibility that what appears to be a relationship between the two is merely a coincidence.