While it might not feel like it given outright carnage in emerging market and international equity indices, global equities measured in USD have not yet entered a bear market, that is, a 20% decline from their previous high. Below we chart the MSCI World index, priced in USD, since 1972, with bull and bear markets noted. We also note the current period since the most recent all-time high (made on May 21st, 2015). During that period, global equities are down 17.62%, which is awfully close but not quite in bear market territory.
If a decline were to take place over the next few days to take us into bear market territory, it would be the 9th since inception of the MSCI World and the first since 2011. We note that the current decline currently spans 244 calendar (174 trading) days, which would make it notably longer than the 2011 bear market as well as the bear markets in 2008 and 2009 (driven by financial crisis volatility). The longest bear market in the index’s history was in the aftermath of the dotcom bubble bursting and went on for 926 calendar (662 trading) days with a decline of 51.4% off all-time highs. On average, bear markets for the MSCI World index have seen declines of 32% over the course of 228 trading days.
We’re reproducing the above table and chart for 13 global equity indices in The Closer tonight for Bespoke Institutional and Exclusive clients.