The S&P 500 has had some big moves lately on both the positive and negative side. Still, though, we're nowhere close to the volatility seen during the financial crisis or even just a year ago. Below is a chart showing the average absolute daily percentage change of the S&P 500 on a rolling 50-day basis. As shown, over the last 50 days, the average daily move has been +/-0.76%. This is the highest reading seen during 2011, but it's well below the 1.37% reading seen in July of last year.
The most amazing part of this chart is obviously just how volatile things got during the last bear market. On December 8th, 2008, the average DAILY change over the past 50 trading days was +/-4.01%. It's easy to forget just how crazy things got back in 2008 and 2009, but this chart is a good reminder. It's still hard to fathom that the market was averaging a daily change of more than 4% back then.
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