For those unfamiliar with the term, we consider an “all or nothing day” to be one where the S&P 500’s net daily A/D (advance/decline) reading is greater than +/-400.  Earlier this year when the market was going haywire due to the COVID outbreak and subsequent lockdowns, all or nothing days were occurring nearly every other day.  In the 50 trading days from 2/21 through 5/1, there were a total of 22 all or nothing days, which works out to 44% of trading days.  Going back to 1990, there were only two other periods where the percentage of all or nothing days was higher.  The first was in the 50 days ending 12/5/08 while the highest frequency of all or nothing days over a 50-day period was in the second half of 2011.  After a 45-trading day lull with no occurrences, all or nothing days are attempting a comeback as the S&P 500 has now seen back to back all or nothing days for the first time since March

As far as for where the frequency of all or nothing days this year ranks compared to other years, 2020 already ranks in the top six of all years since 1990, and there are still nearly four months left to go!  If the current pace of all or nothing days this year keeps up through year-end (a big if given that these types of days tend to occur in bunches), 2020 would see a total of 49 all or nothing days, and that would rank as the third-highest for all years since 1990 (2011 – 70 and 2008 – 52).  With fall and the most volatile time of the year now upon us, we may just get there.  Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options for our best research available.

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