The S&P 500 Index hasn’t scaled a record high so far this year. If history is any signal, that would mean a sharp rally is due in 2024.
The benchmark has posted an average annual gain of 10% once it’s gone an entire calendar year without notching an all-time high, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. When there’s at least one peak, the following year saw an advance of just 4%. And when it exceeded 30 records—22 times in the last century—it was followed by a gain of 2.8%.
While there’s no discernible correlation between all-time highs and index performance—and history by no means guarantees future returns—any rally would come as a relief to the S&P 500, which is nursing its third month of declines as bond yields hit levels last seen in 2007.
The S&P 500 is 14% away from January 2022’s all-time high and has now gone 454 trading days without hitting a peak—the longest since the global financial crisis.
Hopes of scaling the top this year are fading as U.S. stocks face several risks, including an uncertain economic outlook, renewed geopolitical concerns and the prospect of a persistently hawkish Federal Reserve. Moreover, Wall Street strategists on average expect gains of less than 3% during the rest of 2023, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
This article was provided by Bloomberg News.