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Following Monday's impressive 3.41% gain, Tuesday essentially went nowhere on light volume. The gain for the day was a fractional 0.05%.

Year-to-date the index is in the red at -4.94%, but 12.33% below the interim high of April 29. From an intermediate perspective, the index is 76.7% above the March 2009 closing low and 23.6% below the nominal all-time high of October 2007.

Below are two charts of the index, with and without the 50- and 200-day moving averages.

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.

For a bit of international flavor, here's a chart series that includes an overlay of the S&P 500, the Dow Crash of 1929 and Great Depression, and the so-called L-shaped "recovery" of the Nikkei 225. I update these weekly.

These charts are not intended as a forecast, but rather as a way to study the current market in relation to historic market cycles.

Source: S&P 500's Standstill Tuesday