On Aug. 25, the S&P 500 index closed above 2,000 for the first time — finishing at 2,000.24. It had taken the index more than 16 years to double from its first close above 1,000 on Feb. 2, 1998, when it finished at 1,001.27. That 16-year span is more than five times as long as it took for the index to double from its first close above 500 on March 24, 1995, when it finished at 500.97.
On its way to 2,000, the S&P 500 had to endure two major bear markets. It fell from its high of 1,576.74 on Oct. 11, 2007, all the way to its low of 666.79 on March 6, 2009. That means the index has risen more than 1,330 points from its bottom five years ago.
From March 2009 through July 2014, the S&P 500 returned just over 22 percent per year, providing a total return of 195 percent — quite an impressive performance for the period. This year alone, it has defied many so-called experts and risen from 1,848 to 2,000, a price-only gain of more than 8 percent.
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