While there are still another five months left to go in the year, the Nasdaq has already seen 44 record closing highs in 2017, which ranks as the seventh most for any year since the index’s inception in 1971. So how many more record closing highs do we need to see in order to crack the number one spot? As shown in the chart below, we would need to see just 18 more record closing highs to tie the peak level of 62 back in 1980, and just 17 to tie the peak annual reading during the tech bubble in 1999.
While that seems very doable with five months to go in the year, the most important thing you would need to see in order for 2017 to break the record would be a continuation of the low volatility environment that has been in place all year. Even a pullback in the high single-digit percentage range, which is typical for most years, would stop the steady drumbeat of new highs dead in its tracks.