We help to answer the question “Has the bull market already ended?” in this year’s 2016 outlook piece — The Bespoke Report. If you’re a current subscriber, you can see all of the sections in this year’s report in our “Annual Outlook” category. If you’re not yet a member but would like to see this very important piece of research, you can learn more about it here.
Below are two charts from the “Bull Market Cycles” section of this year’s report. In the first chart, we plot the length in calendar days of historical bull markets for the S&P 500 going back to 1928. For the purposes of this exercise, we use the standard definition of a bull market, which is a rally of at least 20% that was preceded by a decline of at least 20%. Note that the current bull market stands at 2,264 calendar days (3/9/09-5/21/15). For this number to increase from here, the S&P needs to move back above its May 21st closing high.
In the second chart, we plot the strength of historical bull markets in terms of percentage change from start to finish. As shown, the current bull market has seen a gain of 215% — well above the median of 86.4% in the post-WWII period.
Notice any difference between pre-WWII bull markets and post-WWII bull markets? It’s kind of hard to miss. Once again, if you’re not currently a Bespoke subscriber and you would like to view our full 2016 annual outlook piece, please click here.