When Was The Last Time The Market Tripled?

In case you missed it, let me bring you up to speed. The S&P 500 recently climbed past 2,000 for the first time ever. While only an arbitrary (though psychological!) round number, it is still impressive given that we’ve rallied over 750 points since 2012.

However, what impressed me more was the fact that we’ve now officially tripled off the 2009 low (666.79), after we hit 2000.37 on Monday. This got me thinking. When was the last time the market officially tripled off a major low? For the purposes of keeping this fairly simple, I’m going to classify 5 major lows: The all-time low set in the first year of trading*, the 1970s bear market low, the 1987 crash low, the post dot-com bubble low, and the 2009 low.

Below is a quarterly log chart of the S&P 500 ($SPX) going back to 1962 (data available starts here, hence why the data from 1957-1962 is not shown). I’ve market the major lows with a red arrow, and their subsequent triplings with a green arrow. Note that only 4 of the major lows saw a tripling in price (the 2002 dot-com crash low did not triple….yet).
So to answer the question, the last time the market tripled was in the 1st quarter of 1996.

(*=There was a Standard & Poor’s stock index established in 1923, but the present form began trading on March 4, 1957.)

$SPX Quarterly Log Chart

SPX Triplings



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