How Often is There a 10% Pullback in a Bull Market?

The last time that the market had a 10% pullback was in June 2012, meaning that it’s been over 14 months since our last big draw down.  That makes this the longest stretch since 2009 without a 10% pullback.  This could be cause for concern, but in order to put our current bull run into perspective against other mega-bulls, below is some data from the 1950s, 60s, 80s and 90s bull markets.

On average, during the ’50s and ’60s the S&P 500 went 20 months from trough to peak in between 10% drawdowns.  This compares to 24 months between drawdowns in the 80s and 90s.  Each two-decade span saw nine 10% drawdowns, but the distribution of the rallies was more even in the 50s and 60s than in the 80s and 90s.  The median rally lasted 17 months in the 50s and 60s compared to only 12 months in the 80s and 90s.  That’s because the 90s were broken up by one monster 84 month (seven year) span without a 10% drawdown.

By comparison, we’ve had four 10% drawdowns since 2009, with rallies averaging 11 months in between.  Although only 7 of the 16 rallies in the mega-bulls made it longer than our current rally, 12 out of 16 saw larger gains than our current 35%.  If this turns out to be a secular bull market like eras past, then it’s not inconceivable that this rally could go even longer without pausing.

S&P Rallies 10 Percent Drawdown 50s


S&P Rallies 10 Percent Drawdown 80s

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