The S&P 500 Hasn't Done This in 14 Years

Buying pressure is building up on the SPX

Senior Quantitative Analyst
Oct 11, 2023 at 8:00 AM
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The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is up about 20% over the past 52 weeks, but it has not seen an all-time high since the first trading day of 2022. That’s 443 trading days without a new high. Since the Great Depression, there have only been seven other streaks of this length. Let’s look at these prior streaks to see if we can learn anything about what might happen next.

It's Been...443 Trading Days

The table below shows the eight times since the Great Depression that the S&P 500 has gone this many trading days without a new all-time high. During the current streak, the S&P 500 was down 25% at its lowest point since the recent all-time high, which was reached about a year ago (248 trading days). This 25% drawdown is relatively mild compared to the drawdowns during the other streaks. Only the 1958 streak had a smaller drawdown.

The last column of the table shows how many more months, after the 443 trading days, it took for the S&P 500 to make a new all-time high. The average is 29 months with the median being 18 months. However, if we look at the three instances when the S&P 500 was within 20% of the last high, it took about two months to reach an all-time high in two cases, and less than five months in the other case.

SPX All-Time Highs

The table below suggests buying pressure has built up for stocks. After 443 days without an all-time high, the S&P 500 gained on average over 14% over the next six months, with six of seven returns positive. A year later, the index gained 17% on average with five of seven returns of 20% or more. It’s only seven data points, but after these streaks, the S&P 500 outperforms its typical returns at all the timeframes shown.

SPX Returns

Finally, I have a chart showing the S&P 500 returns after the all-time highs that led to these 443-day streaks. The thick black line is the current streak, and I have the last few streaks designated with colors. Based on everything here, it’s not unreasonable to be hopeful that the next new high is coming, and soon.

SPX Days Since High


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