Today marked the 133rd trading day of 2015, and we are still stuck in the narrow range that has constrained both the upside and downside of the S&P 500 all year. So far in 2015, there has not been a single day where the S&P 500’s YTD change as of the daily closing bell was greater than 3.5% or less than -3.5%. That has never happened in the history of the index. Prior to 2015, there was never another year where the “+/- range” for the S&P 500 this late into the year was under 4% and only five years where the S&P 500 was never up or down more than 6%.
In the chart below, we have provided annual charts of each year where the S&P 500’s maximum YTD change was within +/- 6% 133 trading days into the year. The shaded area of the chart shows the performance of the S&P 500 during the first 133 trading days of each year while the non-shaded area represents the remainder of the year. For each year, we have also drawn arrows from the close on the 132nd day through year-end. As can be seen with each arrow, the S&P 500 finished the year higher than where it was at this point in the year for each of those prior five years. So while the range bound back and forth action has been frustrating for many traders, if history is any guide, the patience will pay off.