Visualizing The S&P 500 During The Coronavirus Pandemic

One of the more interesting ways you can look at the S&P 500 (Index: SPX) is to chart the relationship between the index' value and its underlying dividends per share. When you do, you can identify periods of relative order and periods of comparative chaos.

Here's an example of that looking at the S&P 500 in the period from 30 September 2019 through 9 March 2021, where we find a relative period of order running from 14 October 2019 through 23 January 2020. The rest is a period of chaos, brought on by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and punctuated by various monetary policy interventions by the Federal Reserve and fiscal policy interventions by the U.S. government.

(Click on image to enlarge)

S&P 500 Index Value vs Trailing Year Dividends per Share, 30 September 2019 - 9 March 2021

If regular order is defined by having trailing year dividends per share coupled in positive growth with the value of the S&P 500 index, when do you suppose that kind of order might return to the U.S. stock market? Is it possible to have a sustained negative relationship with rising stock prices and falling dividends? What kind of fiscal and monetary interventions would it take to sustain that kind of negative order? And what would happen if those interventions cannot be sustained?

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