Archives For stock market history

2008 vs. History

July 1, 2008

I know you’re probably getting tired of looking at this stuff but I thought these two graphics I put together are interesting.

The first one is a bar chart comparison of this year’s monthly total returns for the S&P 500 Index vs. the long-term average for that month. As you can see, it hasn’t been a very good year so far. June really stunk it up.

The second graphic is the actual numbers from the first graphic but displayed in an easy-to-read format (for all you market junkies).

It’s tough to say what lies ahead for the rest of 2008. All I can say is the first half was a blood bath, especially for the financial sector.

As of Friday’s close, the S&P 500 Index is down 8.55% on a total return basis for the month of June. If things don’t improve during Monday’s trading, this June’s performance will be the worst June performance in S&P 500 Index history and the second worst in the S&P Index’s history. Remember, the S&P Index didn’t become the S&P 500 Index until 1957. Prior to 1957 it was composed of 90 stocks. Anyway, here’s a ranking of the ten worst Junes in the history of the S&P Index:

Although this June isn’t nearly as dismal as 1930’s -16.15%, it is still pretty bad compared to the other worst returns for June. However, take heart. This June’s pitiful performance is the 38th worst monthly performance of all months going back to 1926. In other words, it could have been a lot worse!

Oh, and in case you’re interested, Standard & Poor’s has a pretty cool performance tool that you can use to lookup the historical returns for the index. You can access it here. All you have to do is fill in the date and the table furnish you with the return for the index up to that point. Just be sure to use the TR or total return numbers if you’re using the index as a benchmark. It’s pretty cool tool. I use it all the time.