The bull market is officially 10 years old. That anniversary took place on Saturday, March 9, 2019. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 had both put in double-digit gains in early 2019, before the most recent selling, but all the major equity indexes have risen exponentially since the V-bottom in 2009 and the day that the current bull market started. When pegging a bottom of the stock market in 2009, it’s important to consider your indexes.
March 9 was the lowest close for the S&P 500 of 676.53, but the big V-bottom intraday low was on Friday, March 6, at 666.79, with a close of 683.38. The Dow had a low close of 6,547.05 on March 9, but the intraday low of 6,469.95 was seen on March 6 with a close of 6,626.94. The most recent index levels were 25,450 for the Dow and 2,743 for the S&P 500. That was up about 290% for the Dow and 310% for the S&P 500.
Where things get interesting is in evaluating the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite index. The March 9, 2009, close of 1,268.64 was lower than the March 6 close of 1,293.85, and it was barely above the intraday low on March 6 of 1,268.54. These were just under the November 21, 2008, intraday low of 1,295.48 and the November 20, 2008, low close of 1,316.12. This number should just be rounded to 1,300 for simplification. The Nasdaq Composite already had reached 1,700 by the end of April in 2009, but the 7,408 recent level for the Nasdaq was up more than 465% from that V-bottom low. This will become obvious when you see how the largest tech giants have performed over the past decade.
Seeing index gains of 300% or more is not exactly routine. Many investors would be happy for gains of that size to come in a lifetime, let alone a decade. We just have to keep in mind that the S&P 500 pre-recession peak of just over 1,550 in 2007 was not retaken until early 2013. A lot of this bull market was simply playing catch-up.
24/7 Wall St. has provided a review of the top stocks in the market to show just how well some of them have done. These have all outperformed the broader indexes, but some of them have outperformed the indexes exponentially.
Here is a quick look at a handful of the largest companies and most desirable stocks of today have performed since the start of the 10-year old bull market. These certainly are not the only tech and banking leaders that have dominated since the recession, but these are the ones deemed the leaders and with the least amount of operational issues today.
Amazon Up 2,500%
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) had been under $50 during part of January 2009, but the March 9, 2009, closing price was $60.49. Its shares more than doubled to $134.52 by the end of 2009, but that’s nothing compared to the $1,600 in 2019. If you just use the March 9, 2009, level it’s a gain of better 2,560%.
Over that time, Jeff Bezos became the world’s richest man on paper. And in a serious shift in the business model, Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017 to increase its offerings and to expand its presence and points where it can reach customers.
Apple Up 1,300%
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was at a price of $12.19, or actually down at $8.13 on a dividend-adjusted basis, on March 6. Its adjusted closing price of $7.92 was the close on March 9, 2009. Apple shares were then at $15 (unadjusted) by March 24 and back up at $20 (unadjusted) by June 1. An adjusted $12 price at the lows compares to a current price of $172.
Despite the gain in Mac and launches of the iPad and the Apple Watch, Microsoft remains a story about the iPhone. The other key issue for Apple today over 2009 is that Tim Cook is running the company rather than Steve Jobs.