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S&P 500 Sets First Record Since Pandemic Began

The S&P 500 index has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Since the market’s all-time low back in the spring, stock indexes have been gradually recovering from the sizable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of trading on Tuesday, one of the indexes finally crawled its way back to pre-pandemic levels, setting a new record high for the first time since February.

At the closing bell yesterday, the S&P 500 index was up by 0.2%. The index had been hovering close to gain territory for the last several trading days, but would always fall short at the last minute. As the S&P 500 is the closest overall indicator of the health of Wall Street, this new record has prompted multiple financial analysts to officially declare the 2020 bear market over. This would make the COVID-induced bear market the shortest in market history.

“This is bittersweet news for some investors, who had hoped for another opportunity to buy more stocks on another market decline. On the bright side, this new bull market still offers opportunities for investors,” UBS Global Wealth Management’s Americas CIO Solita Marcelli wrote to clients.

However, not all analysts are convinced. While larger corporations are turning a steady profit as the market recovers, many smaller businesses have yet to yield tangible benefits. Some analysts have clarified that the market cannot be technically considered to be in the bull territory until it rallies at least 20% without a six-month market undercut. Investors are also somewhat confused as to why the market seems to be excelling so much when unemployment is still at record highs, though LPL Financial Chief Strategist Ryan Detrick offered an explanation.

“Many continue to wonder why stocks are at new highs with 10% unemployment and nearly a million people filing for initial unemployment claims. The truth is economic data is backward looking and stocks are looking ahead to a much brighter future,” said Detrick.

As for the S&P 500’s contemporaries, the Nasdaq and Dow, the former managed its own record high at 0.7%, while the latter dropped 0.2%.

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