The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s wild round trip is nearly complete.
The venerable stock index, despite a recent hiccup , has nearly recovered all the losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic, an epic journey during one of the most catastrophic economic collapses in U.S. history.
The Dow and the benchmark S&P500 plunged about 35% within six weeks this spring —the fastest-ever fall from record levels into a bear market—as the economy shut down and the virus spread across the country. Since then, U.S. stocks have been on a winning streak that is unprecedented in the modern era of financial markets.
The Dow is near Feb. 12’s all-time high, while the S&P 500 recently staged its most robust five-month rally in more than 80 years.
The S&P 500’s journey from record high to a bear market—defined as a drop of 20% or more—to a new record took just 126 trading days, the fastest-ever such climb. In previous downturns going back to 1928, it took an average of more than 1,500 sessions for the index to return to record levels, equivalent to about six years.