The Four Totally Bad Bear Recoveries: Where Is Today's Market?

Note: In response to a standing request, here is updated comparison of four major secular bear markets. The numbers are through the Friday, October 21 close.

This chart series features an overlay of the Four Bad Bears in U.S. history since the equity market peak in 1929. They are:

  1. The Crash of 1929, which eventually ushered in the Great Depression,
  2. The Oil Embargo of 1973, which was followed by a vicious bout of stagflation,
  3. The 2000 Tech Bubble bust and,
  4. The Financial Crisis following the record high in October 2007.

The series includes four versions of the overlay: nominal, real (inflation-adjusted), total-return with dividends reinvested and real total-return. The starting point is the aligned peaks prior to the four epic declines.

The first chart shows the price, excluding dividends for these four historic declines and their aftermath. As of Friday's close we are now 2276 market days from the 2007 peak in the S&P 500.

Four Bears

Inflation-Adjusted Performance

When we adjust for inflation, the gap between our current recovery and the other three widens, thanks to exceptionally low inflation in recent years.

Four Real Bears