U.S. stocks are about to accomplish something that hasn’t happened since 1972

U.S. stocks are about to accomplish something that hasn’t been done since President Richard Nixon was still occupying the White House.

The S&P 500
is on track to rise for the 14th week out of 15 on Friday. According to Dow Jones Market Data, the last time the large-cap index recorded a comparable stretch of weekly gains was March 10, 1972. This will mark the 13th time it has happened since the index’s inception in 1957.

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However, investors don’t need to look as far back to find a precedent for the magnitude of the index’s rise over this period. The S&P 500 has risen 21.8% over the past 15 weeks as of midday Friday, the largest advance over such a stretch since Aug. 28, 2020.

See: S&P 500 reaches 5,000 for first time. Here’s what it means for the market.

The index is set to close above 5,000 for the first time on Friday in what would be its 10th record close of the year, according to Dow Jones data.

To be sure, the S&P 500 isn’t the only major U.S. equity index on the cusp of a historic winning streak. The Nasdaq Composite
is also set to rise for the 14th week out of 15 as well on Friday.

In the case of the Nasdaq, investors don’t need to look quite as far back for precedent: the last time the tech-heavy index landed a winning streak of this magnitude was a 15-week period that ended on Aug. 8, 1997.

Should the Dow Jones Industrial Average
finish the week higher, it would mark the first time it has risen like this since May 12, 1995, while also marking the14th such occurrence since the index was created in the late 19th century.

If the Nasdaq finishes the week in the green, it would be only the sixth time this has happened since the index was created in 1971, with one of the examples being a 15-week winning streak that ended on March 10, 1972.

U.S. stocks have risen sharply since hitting their most recent near-term bottom in late October, when the S&P 500 finished at what was then its weakest level in five months.

The No. 1 factor that has driven markets higher during this period has been the Federal Reserve pivoting away from hiking interest rates, and toward holding them steady, or possibly cutting them later this year, according to Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisors Alliance.

“The main reason the market has gone higher over the past 15 weeks has been the Fed pivot, the idea that the Fed is done raising interest rates to being on pause or cutting them. I think that’s a big catalyst for the rally that we have seen,” Zaccarelli said.

He also cited the surprising strength of the U.S. economy for helping to drive the rally in stocks since late 2022.

“A recession never happened last year, and it doesn’t appear that it will be happening any time soon. I think that’s one of the big reasons we’ve had a rally over the last 14 months, let alone the last 15 weeks,” he added.

U.S. stocks traded mostly higher on Friday, with two of the three major indexes, as well as the Russell 2000
on track for a weekly gain. The S&P 500 was up 15.5 points, or 0.3%, in midday trading, at 5,013, leaving it on track for a 1.1% weekly advance.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 150 points, or 1%, to 15943, on for a 2% weekly advance. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off by 101 points, or 0.3%, at 38624, leaving it on track to finish the week with a marginal loss.

The Russell 2000 was up 14.5 points, or 0.7%, at 1,994, on track for a weekly advance of 1.6%.

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