Snapshots of Market History: The Bear Bottoming Process

Since the middle of the last century, there have been nine bear markets in the S&P 500 using the 20% selloff of the "bear-market" benchmark. There have been two additional corrections that came within a hair's breadth of the -20% qualification.

Here are snapshots of those official bears and initial recoveries. Rather than scrolling down, you can click on a chart for an enlarged version and a slide-show of the series.

We'll close with an overlay of the three worst bears in the series along with the epic crash of 1929 using a predecessor of the S&P 500, the S&P 90 (learn more about the history of the S&P Composite index here).

Endnote

Is the market now nearing the end of a bull run with a bear market in the near future? Only time will tell. Meanwhile these charts give us a long-term perspective on the variety of transitions at major turning points.