Personally, I hate the standard bull and bear market definitions of 20% from prior peak – and from what I’ve read, no one is even sure where that 20% rule even came from to begin with. But it’s kind of a thing and I guess we’re stuck with it just because it’s been a thing for so long. Like that show The Mentalist.
Anyway, my boys at Bespoke have some fun with the concept yesterday:
The S&P 500 is currently about five points above its prior bull market closing high of 1,363.61 reached last April 29th. A bull market is defined as a rally of at least 20% that was preceded by a decline of at least 20%. Since the S&P 500 never closed down more than 20% from its April 29th closing high, we’ve simply been in a correction for the last 301 days.
Using the 20% guideline (I think we were only down 18% peak to trough from April 2011 through the October low), technically we’re still in the same bull market that began in March of 2009.
Bespoke pegs this current bull market at 1082 days through yesterday and notes that it is one of just nine bull markets to pass the 1000 day mark.