Breaking Records: U.S. Stocks Reach Heights Not Seen Since 1972
U.S. stocks have achieved a rare milestone reminiscent of the era when President Richard Nixon occupied the White House.
On Friday, the S&P 500 (SPX) clinched its 14th week of gains out of 15, a feat last seen on March 10, 1972, according to Dow Jones Market Data. This accomplishment is only the 13th since the index’s inception in 1957.
But the significance of the index’s climb over this period doesn’t require a distant glance into history. With a 22.1% surge over the past 15 weeks as of Friday’s close, it marks the most substantial gain in such a timeframe since the period ending August 28, 2020, based on Dow Jones data.
Friday also saw the index closing above 5,000 for the first time, marking its 10th record close of the year.
Notably, the S&P 500 isn’t alone in its historic winning streak. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also joined the party, rising for the 14th week out of 15.
For the Nasdaq, the last time it accomplished such a streak was during a 15-week period ending on August 8, 1997.
As for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), it barely managed to eke out a gain for the week on Friday, marking the first such instance since May 12, 1995. These types of winning streaks for the DJIA have occurred only 14 times since its inception in the late 19th century.
For the Nasdaq, it was only the sixth time since its creation that it achieved such a milestone, with one instance being a 15-week winning streak ending on March 10, 1972.
The rally in U.S. stocks has been robust since their recent near-term bottom in late October, when the S&P 500 hit its weakest level in five months.
The primary driver behind this market surge has been the Federal Reserve’s pivot away from raising interest rates, leaning instead toward maintaining them or possibly cutting them later in the year, according to Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisors Alliance.
Zaccarelli also pointed to the surprising resilience of the U.S. economy as another factor bolstering stocks over the past year.
U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Friday, with all three major indexes notching weekly gains, even as the Dow lagged. The S&P 500 closed 0.6% higher at 5,026.61, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.3% to 15,990.66, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.1% at 38,671.69. The Russell 2000 also saw gains, closing up 1.5% at 2,009.99.