Okay, you knew the punchline was coming.
After dropping 11.9% in 1929 as the Crash and Great Depression got rolling, the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 28.5% in 1930.
And then, in 1931, it staged that big short-term rally that we’ve just surpassed. After starting the year at 15.85 (Yes, the S&P 500 way back then was in low double digits. The index peaked at 31.82 in September 1929.), stocks staged a 13.75% rally that took the index back to 18.03 on February 27, 1931.
But from there the Bear Market got its claws into share prices again, Stocks finished down 47.1% for that year. Despite the January-February rally.
And then dropped another 15.2% in 1932.
From there the Great Depression–and some really ham-handed fiscal policy in Washington (an effort to balance the budget by raising taxes if you can wrap your head around that)–put the market back into another painful bear with stocks losing 38.6% in 1937.
Now I think the Federal Reserve, Congress, and even the White House knows enough to flood the economy with cash to stop the coronavirus recession from becoming a depression, and to attempt to reduce its duration.
But pardon me if I have to believe, on the basis of past stock market history and from current data, that this Bear Market isn’t done with us a mere one-month from the mid-February highs.