A Few Charts and a Few Thoughts at All-Time Highs

This morning, the S&P 500 is making its 31st all-time high this year. That’s one every 5.6 days, on average.

The index is up 11.1% over the first 174 days of 2017, which is the strongest year-to-date performance through this time since 2013.

The S&P 500 has been above the 200-day moving average for 304 days, going back to last June. What’s incredible about this streak is that it hasn’t even come close to testing its 200-day. It has been more than 3% above it, an arbitrary number, for 210 straight days. This is just the seventh time since 1970 that stocks have experienced a stretch like this.

The chart below shows the S&P 500 relative to its 200-day in gray, with the other 6 instances of elevated readings highlighted in red.

What’s somewhat noteworthy about the current streak is that at no point was the S&P 500 more than 10% above the 200-day, which happened in each of the previous six occurrences. In other words, stocks have been elevated for a while, but never got terribly extended.

What also makes today interesting is how quiet it is. It feels weird to be hanging around all-time highs without much movement in either direction. The chart below shows the rolling 30-day standard deviation for the S&P 500. The red areas show the six previous times when stocks were extended above their 200-day moving average.

Below is the information from the chart thrown into a table.

What does all this mean? Stocks are elevated but they’re not moving very much, which probably could have been a tweet, but I always say most tweets should be blog posts.