Shortest bear market in history ends as S&P 500 sets new record

by Peter Heck · Aug 19th, 2020 10:08 am

Last Updated Oct 14th, 2020 at 3:10 pm

Following a historic dive in February and March fueled by the coronavirus-initiated economic shutdown, the S&P 500 closed at a record high on Tuesday. Ending at 3389.78, the stock index completed a shocking rebound to eclipse its previous high-water mark, set on February 19 of this year, right before the collapse began.

The cratered market lasted only 126 days before fully recovering to its pre-pandemic level, making it the shortest bear market in United States history.

Experts say the recovery is predicated on investors' hopes that corporate earnings will dramatically improve next year. Still, the turnaround remains perplexing to many given the sluggish economic and employment rebound.

"There's a feeling of euphoria in the marketplace that you're going to make money," said Steven Wagner, chief executive of Omnia Family Wealth, of his interactions with investors in recent weeks. "But they're also bewildered by the disconnect [with the economy] and what they see in their businesses, their lives, and what stock prices are doing."

What seemed highly improbable just two months ago, the S&P 500 is now up almost 5 percentage points on the year.


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