Tuesday’s record high close by the S&P 500 Index officially ended the bear market that started in late February.
The major U.S. stock indexes settled mixed on Tuesday with the benchmark S&P 500 Index and technology-based NASDAQ Composite indexes posting record highs, rebounding from huge losses earlier in the year triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and crowning one of the most dramatic recoveries in the index’s history. Meanwhile, the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average continued to struggle, mostly due to its limited exposure to technology-related companies.
In the cash market on Tuesday, the S&P 500 Index settled at 3389.78, up 7.79 or +0.26%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 27778.07, down 66.84 or -0.27% and the NASDAQ Composite closed at 11210.84, up 81.11 or +0.85%.
Shortest Bear Market in History Comes to End
Tuesday’s record high close by the S&P 500 Index officially ended the bear market that started in late February, according to a widely accepted definition used by market aficionados. The index entered a bear market in late February/early March before reaching its bottom on March 23.
Since March 23, the index has posted the largest gain, about 55%, in a 103-day period in 87 years, according to Refinitiv data. That makes it the shortest bear market in history.
Indexes, Sectors and Stocks
The NASDAQ Composite posted its 18th record closing high since early June, when it confirmed its recovery from the coronavirus sell-off. Tuesday’s record was its 34th record close so far this year compared with 31 record closing highs in 2019 and 29 in 2018.
The consumer discretionary sector rose the most among major S&P sectors on strength in Amazon while the technology sector provided another boost to the benchmark index.
Investors showed lukewarm reactions to better results from Dow components Home Depot and Walmart, limiting the gains of the blue chip average.
Home Depot, Inc. reported its biggest rise in quarterly same-store sales in at least two decades, however, its shares fell about 1% after analysts cautioned that its sales might have hit their peak.
Wal Mart Inc. traded marginally higher after posting its biggest ever growth in online sales as shoppers cashed in stimulus checks and orders everything from electronics and toys to groceries from the safety of their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.