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Wednesday
Oct242012

S&P 500 5% Corrections: Current Bull Market

Following today's decline, it is hard to believe that the S&P 500 is down less than 5% from its bull market closing high on September 14th.  The table below highlights the S&P 500's 16 prior declines of 5% or more (without a 5% rally) since the bull market began.  If the S&P 500 closes below1,392.5, this current pullback will mark the 17th 5% decline.

Looking at the average and median magnitude and length of the prior declines during the current market shows that the S&P 500 typically pulls back between 7.7% and 8.3% over a period of between 19 and 22 days.  Given the fact that the most recent high was 40 days ago, the current pullback would rank as the third longest of the bull market.  For the sake of reference, if the current pullback were to reach 'average' or 'median' levels, that would imply a decline to about 1,350.