Bear Market Watch: What Will Mean a Bull Market Has Began?

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Latest yr, recent bull market… hopefully.

The S&P 500 — an index of stocks often used because the benchmark to measure how U.S. stocks are doing overall — kicked off 2022 near an all-time high before tumbling and ending the yr down 19.4%. You likely heard the term “bear market” recently, because the S&P 500 officially fell into one in June.

Now, it’s 2023, and the stock market remains to be struggling. But what exactly must occur for the bear market to finish?

“It isn’t quite as clear cut as we would favor,” says Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist, at Carson Group. “Nobody rings a bell on the low, nobody rings a bell on the high.”

But here’s what investors should know.

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What must occur for a bear market to finish?

A bear market is mostly considered to have happened when a stock or broad index (just like the S&P 500) falls no less than 20% from its most up-to-date high. The alternative is a bull market, when prices rise no less than 20% from bear market lows.

To find out how stocks are performing overall, experts tend to have a look at the three major indexes: the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite. Detrick analyzed market data for Money to find out what level each index needs to achieve for the bear market to be considered over.

The Dow bottomed on Sept. 30, 2022, and truly exited its bear market on Nov. 30. But that doesn’t suggest stocks are out of the woods.

The S&P 500’s most up-to-date closing low was 3,577.03 points on Oct. 12, 2022. A 20% rally from there can be a detailed of 4,292.44, in keeping with Detrick. On the market’s close on Wednesday, it was 3,969.61.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite hit a brand new closing low on Dec. 28 at 10,213.29. A 20% rally can be 12,255.95. On the market’s close on Wednesday, it was 10,931.67.

Must you wait for the bull market to take a position?

While it could be tempting to attend until stocks appear to be on their way back up to take a position, doing so can mean missing out on opportunities.

“You have missed 20% of a rally in case you’re just waiting for this magical 20% level,” Detrick says.

As a substitute of attempting to time the market, financial advisors are inclined to recommend a technique called dollar-cost averaging. Doing so entails investing a set amount of cash at regular intervals, like $100 every month.

That way you possibly can make the most of the eventual recovery without having to know exactly when to enter and exit the market — something that is very hard to do, even for Wall Street professionals.

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