This round of U.S. stock bull market starts and ends with the presence of the Federal Reserve: it unleashed unprecedented growth-preserving measures in early 2020, helping the S&P 500 more than double by the end of last year; now, as inflation soars, central bank officials Stimulus measures are being withdrawn, and investors who believe a recession is inevitable are selling stocks.
The S&P 500 is currently at 3,824. If maintained until the close, it would be the first bear market since the outbreak of the virus in February 2020.
Consumer discretionary stocks led the decline: The S&P 500 is down 35% since its record high in January. Communication services and information technology sectors were also among the biggest losers. The only sector to gain this year is energy, up 41% since Jan. 3.
Including this one, the S&P 500 has entered a bear market 17 times since 1929, according to CFRA Research. The longest one lasted 998 days (September 1929 to June 1932); the most recent one lasted longer (March 2000 to October 2002). The data shows that the shortest one is only 33 days (February 19, 2020 to March 23, 2020).
Bear markets have averaged about 38% declines, though bear markets since 1946 have averaged less than 33% declines, according to CFRA. And the frequency of bear markets has also decreased, to only five since 1990, including this one.