After a disastrous late February and early March period, breadth among S&P 500 groups cratered to the point where not a single one of the S&P 500’s 24 industry groups were above their 50-day moving average. Before the most recent occurrence, that’s something we hadn’t seen since early 2019.
While there have been numerous instances in the last few years where every industry group was below its 50-DMA, the most recent period was unique in that it lasted more than four full weeks (21 trading days). Going all the way back to 1990, there has only been one other period where every industry group was below its 50-day moving average for as long as it just was. That was during the depths of the financial crisis in the 21-day stretch ending 11/3/08. It took a bear market of more than a year to finally reach that level back then, but this time around, it took less than two months. Besides that period, there has never been another four-week stretch where every industry group was below its 50-day moving average.
Overall breadth readings have already improved in terms of industry groups above their 50-day moving averages, but at this point, the number of industry groups with rising 50-day moving averages remains extremely depressed at just 8.3% as of midday Friday. Similar to the streak above, during the most recent period every group had a declining 50-day moving average for 26 straight days, and that was also the longest such streak since 2008. Granted, this is a lagging indicator and should improve the longer equities remain around current levels, but it once again serves as a reminder of how steep the declines actually were. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional for full access to our research and interactive tools.