Longest And Strongest Bull Markets - Updated

by: Bespoke Investment Group

The S&P 500 is currently trading right around 1,875 and is now on pace to close at a new bull market high once again after Monday's Ukraine sell-off. With that in mind, the tables below provide an update of where the current bull market stands in comparison to prior bull markets in terms of duration and magnitude. For the purposes of this analysis, we consider a bull market to be any period where the S&P 500 gains 20% or more (on a closing basis) without a decline of 20% in between.

In terms of duration, the current bull market still ranks at number six on the list. With today's new high, though, it is now less than three weeks away from taking out the 1982 - 1987 period as the fifth longest of all time. If the S&P 500 can hit a new high any time after 3/22, the next target will be the bull market of 2002 through 2007. In order to surpass that period and move into fourth place, the S&P 500 has to continue rallying through Memorial Day on 5/26. While the bull market has already been impressive, moving into the top spot for longest bull markets on record is still a ways off. In fact, the S&P 500 would have to go another 7-plus years to 6/28/2021 in order to overtake the 1987-2000 bull market as the longest ever.

The current bull market may only rank at six in terms of duration, but it is already at number four on the list of ten strongest bull markets. Looking at the list, it could be some time before we crack the top three. In order to crack the 228.81% threshold to move into the top four, the S&P would have to rally another 20% to about 2,225. Finally, before setting your sights on the title of strongest bull market on record, keep in mind that in order to overtake the 1987-2000 bull market, the S&P 500 would need to rally an additional 150% to 4,620. Don't hold your breath.