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Say goodbye to the shortest bear market within the historical past of the S&P 500

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The "Fearless Girl" statue can be seen outside the New York Stock Exchange

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Noel Randewich

(Reuters) – Well that was quick!

The record high of the S&P 500 () on Tuesday confirmed that the 2020 coronavirus-fueled bear market was by far the shortest ever.

Measured from the benchmark's previous record high on February 19 to its low on March 23, the pandemic-induced bear market lasted just 33 days, compared to the average age of 302 days for 20 bear markets dating back to the 1920s, according to Yardeni research data.

GRAPHICS: Hardly there – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-STOCKS/HIGH/qmypmkelepr/chart.png

By one commonly used definition, a new bull market began in the S&P 500 as the index rebounded from its March 23 low, backed by trillion dollar incentives from US politicians hoping for a rebound from the lowest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Wall Street's dramatic rebound over the next five months caused the S&P to gain around 55% amid widespread economic devastation and the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic in parts of the United States.

In June, the Nasdaq was the first of the three major US stock indices to regain all-time highs. This was due to the price gains of large technology-related companies during the COVID-19 lockdowns, including Amazon.com Inc (O 🙂 and Netflix Inc (O :).

The S&P 500, commonly defined as a 20% or more decline from a peak, has seen about a dozen bear markets or bear markets since the late 1960s, most of which were accompanied by a recession.

While the bear market was the short-lived of the S&P 500 in 2020, it was nonetheless impressive. The index fell 34% from its February high to its March low, slightly below its average bear market loss of 37%.

GRAPHICS: Deep Dive – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-STOCKS/HIGH/gjnpwxnnwvw/chart.png

However, the falls in the index's most recent bear market were not as deep as in the previous two downturns. The post-financial crisis bear market in 2009 wiped out 57% of the value of the S&P 500, while the Wall Street slump in 2002 after the dot-com bubble implosion wiped out almost half of its value.

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