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The S&P 500 ignored Thursday morning's mildly disappointing initial unemployment claims report and surged at the open. The index then quickly slid to within a hair's breadth of its opening level at around 11:15. But the buying returned and the index rose to an afternoon trading range before rallying in the final 90 minutes to a daily gain of 0.76%. The index is at a new interim high following the March 2009 low and a level not seen since late December of 2007.

Here is a 30-minute chart of the index since the last day of 2012.

(click to enlarge)

The S&P 500 is now up 3.22% for 2013 and at a new interim high.

From a longer-term perspective, the index is 117.6% above the March 2009 closing low and 5.9% below the nominal all-time high of October 2007.

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

For a better sense of how these declines figure into a larger historical context, here's a long-term view of secular bull and bear markets in the S&P Composite since 1871.

Source: S&P 500 Snapshot: Highest Level Since December 2007