So where do 3%+ declines usually occur during bull and bear markets? We looked at all bull and bear markets going back to 1962 to find out. If a bear market has indeed started, the 3%+ decline just 5 days in will be the earliest yet. As shown in the first table below, most come well into bear markets. If the bull market continues, past data shows that there are plenty more days to come before the end of the cycle.
In all instances of 3%+ declines, the averages show that the S&P 500 rises in the month and three months following. When the 3%+ declines come during bear markets, the average gain over the next month is 3.40% and 4.35% over the next three months. When the 3%+ declines come during bull markets, the average gain over the next month is 2.95% and 9.32% over the next three months.
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