Thirteen Isn’t Unlucky for the S&P 500

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

Number of the Day

That’s how many weeks in a row the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has posted at least one record high close, underscoring the strength of this year’s stock market rally.

The popular stock market benchmark has risen to at least one new high every week since June 10, hitting multiple records some weeks, according to data from Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. In August alone, the broad-based index scored 12 new highs (and narrowly missed at 13th Tuesday), with as many as four new highs in one week.

The S&P 500 has more than doubled from its pandemic-era low in March 2020, despite more than one spike in coronavirus cases over the last 18 months, including one that has hit consumer confidence in the economy hard just this month. Investors are betting that there won’t be new lockdowns that could bring the economy to a halt, but they’re also optimistic about strong corporate profits and the relatively low chance that the Federal Reserve will raise benchmark interest rates any time soon, according to economists at First Trust Advisors. 

“Rightly or wrongly, we don’t think the US will lockdown again,”  they wrote in a commentary Monday. “At the same time, last week’s ‘Jackson Hole’ speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made it clear that monetary policy is likely to remain very loose for the foreseeable future.”

First Trust economists boosted their year-end forecast for the S&P to 5,000, meaning they expect it to rise more than 10% more.

Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Medora at medoralee@thebalance.com.