The current bull market is now officially 10 years old. That anniversary took place on Saturday, March 9. The Great Recession was the worst modern-era recession, and it was followed by the greatest bull market of our generation as well. All the major equity indexes have risen exponentially (around 300% or more) since the V-bottom in March of 2009, but this bull market is a game of the “haves versus the have-nots.”
Long-term shareholders of quite a few large companies may never even realized it was a raging bull market because these stocks have performed so poorly in the past decade.
Look at the index gains first. March 9, 2009, was the lowest close for the S&P 500 of 676.53, but the big V-bottom intraday low was on Friday, March 6, at 666.79. The Dow Jones industrials had a low close of 6,547.05 on March 9, but the intraday low of 6,469.95 was seen on March 6 with a close of 6,626.94. The most recent index levels were 25,450 for the Dow and 2,743 for the S&P 500. That was up about 290% for the former and 310% for the latter.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq had a March 9, 2009, close of 1,268.64, which was just under the November 21, 2008, intraday low of 1,295.48 and the November 20, 2008, low close of 1,316.12. If you round the numbers to 1,300 for simplification, the Nasdaq was recently seen above 7,400 for a gain of about 470% from that V-bottom in 2009.
Seeing index gains of 300% in a decade, or even two decades, is not exactly routine. Many investors would be happy for gains of that size to come in a lifetime. But it is still important to keep in mind that the S&P 500 pre-recession peak of just over