How Long Have the S&P 500 and Dow Gone without a 1% Fall? 103 Days
Buoyancy. That is what this indefatigable equity market has come to be known for over a four month stretch that has failed to yield a decline of at least 1% for either the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. That is 103 trading sessions dating back to Oct. 11.
Put another way, Wall Street investors have gone through Halloween, a stunning election victory, weeks of shock, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, four ballistic-missile firings by North Korea a tumble in oil prices, with nary a 1% blip neither from the S&P 500 SPX, nor the Dow industrials DJIA.
Such a preternatural period of supernatant trade is bordering on insane, but it is also historic, marking the longest stretch of trading days without a 1% decline since Dec. 18, 1995 for the S&P 500 and the longest since Sept. 20, 1993, for the Dow, according to Dow Jones data (see tables below ranking the 15 longest such streaks for the Dow and S&P 500):
|Dow Jones Industrial Average|
|Streak Ending||1% decline||Days|
|March 1, 1966||-1.44||155|
|April 18, 1944||-1.23||132|
|June 4, 1964||-1.15||132|
|June 14, 1950||-1.38||125|
|Sept. 20, 1993||-1.04||117|
|March 8, 1945||-1.65||110|
|Nov. 21, 1963||-1.27||103|
|3/9/2017||?||103 (including Friday)|
|Nov. 27, 2006||-1.29||95|
|Aug. 18, 1952||-1.10||93|
|Oct. 16, 1967||-1.05||93|
|Aug. 4, 1911||-1.72||91|
|Oct. 7, 1941||-1.12||91|
|June 15, 1909||-1.67||90|
|June 19, 1957||-1.06||89|
|S&P 500 index|
|Streak ending||1% decline||Days|
|Nov. 21, 1963||-1.30||185|
|March 1, 1966||-1.27||155|
|June 8, 1954||-2.24||143|
|June 4, 1964||-1.03||132|
|March 24, 1961||—2.08||124|
|June 5, 1950||-1.01||118|
|Nov. 1, 1967||-1.27||105|
|March 9, 2017||?||103 (including Friday)|
|Nov. 3, 1993||-1.16||96|
|Nov. 27, 2006||-1.36||95|
|March 8, 1945||-1.81||93|
Stock-equity benchmarks tend to decline at least once every six trading sessions, according to Salil Mehta, a graduate school finance professor, who has worked at Georgetown University and New York University.
So far, the market looks amazingly resilient. Shaking off geopolitical tensions with aplomb and offering only a muted nod to worries around oil futures which have recently resulted in a sharp decline in West Texas Intermediate crude-oil prices CLJ7 since last Monday.
What’s kept the market in check and the CBOE Volatility Index VIX known as the “fear gauge”, below its historic average of 20? It’s hard to say. Is it President Donald Trump’s promises to unleash animal spirits by way of tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending? Maybe.
Lance Roberts, chief investment strategist at Clarity Financial, LLC has a theory. He says part of the market’s bounciness may be the result of a combination of hope of better growth and central bankers’ ultraloose monetary policy. In essence, the belief that there are measures afloat to boost economic growth and a mandate by the Federal Reserve and others to step in if the situation gets dicey.
“With the central banks, there’s a belief that every dip is a buying opportunity. That the Fed has got my back no matter what happens,” Roberts said.
Maybe as hedge-fund luminary and Appaloosa Management head, David Tepper, put it “you can’t be short in that kinda set up.”
The next few sessions may prove key tests for investors, with the Fed widely expected to lift benchmark interest rates at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on March 15. Cheap money, which has been the backbone of this eight-year bull market may be coming to an end, and that could have huge implications for volatility.
In recent research on the narrow trading range, Mehta said the market is due for a pullback just from a statistical standpoint. But he also acknowledged that stocks have shown an uncanny ability to frustrate “mean reversionists”
“Markets can always frustrate mean-reversionists who demand simple probability relationships with data- and it has frustrated Big Data Ph.D. junkies as well,” he said.