Visualizing Long Winning And Losing Streaks For The S&P 500

Splitting this latter period roughly in half, from 2 January 1981 through 31 December 1999, there were 44 winning streaks and 26 losing streaks, a 1.7-to-1 W/L ratio, similar to what was seen from 1950 through 1980. Since 3 January 2000 however, there have been 44 winning streaks and 15 losing streaks, nearly a 3-to-1 W/L ratio.

What changed in the last 20 years to produce that outcome? Is it a statistical anomaly where we'll eventually have a period characterized by clusters of long losing streaks as the trend reverts to the mean? Or has something else changed to stop losing streaks in the S&P 500 from becoming long-losing streaks during this period?

We don't know the answers to these questions. As far as we know, we're also the first to report these observations, but if we learn others have noticed and reported it, we'll add that information to the end of this post. For now, though, we're very happy to find ourselves back at the cutting edge of discovery!


Yahoo! Finance. S&P 500 Historical Data. [Online Database]. Accessed 7 July 2021.

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