The Effect of Dollar Weakness on Stock Market Performance

by: Brett Steenbarger

The pink line in the chart above (click for greater detail) shows the cash S&P 500 Index from 2000 to the present. The blue line is also the cash S&P 500 Index, but adjusted for the value of the U.S. Dollar Index. The dollar has been weakening as stocks have risen. As a result, the bull market in large caps since 2003 has been far more anemic in world currency terms than in dollar terms. With growing calls for interest rate cuts, that doesn't bode well for the dollar, and invites questions about who would want to own dollar-denominated assets when the dollar is shrinking.