Below is an updated look at historical bull markets for the S&P 500 going back to its inception in 1928.  Remember, the standard definition of a “bull market” is a 20%+ rally that was preceded by a 20%+ decline.  We’ll leave the argument over what should or shouldn’t be considered a bull market for another day.  Here we’re only reporting the numbers.

As shown below, the current bull market that began on March 9th, 2009 has now lasted 2,906 days.  That makes the current bull the second longest on record by 299 days.  The only bull market that lasted longer was the one that ran from December 1987 through March 2000.  Remarkably, the S&P didn’t experience a decline of 20% on a closing basis over that entire 4,494-day period.

Another notable stat is that the current bull has now lasted more than 1,000 days longer than the previous bull that ran from July 2002 to October 2007.

In terms of strength, the current bull still ranks third best with a gain of 248.96%.  To move into second place, the gain will need to eclipse the 267% rally seen from June 1949 through August 1956.

In case you’re wondering, the shortest bull market on record lasted just 24 days — occurring all inside the month of June 1931.


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