The stock market notched its worst start to the year in more than 50 years with the S&P 500 closing down 21% over the past six months. The skid marks the poorest first-half performance from the index since 1970.
The S&P 500 ended June 30 at 3,785, more than a thousand points lower than the start of the year and representing a wipeout of more than $8 trillion in market value.
For those hoping this is the bottom, however, some bears have some bad news. Sixty-year Wall Street veteran George Ball told Bloomberg the S&P could bottom at 3,100, while Bank of America wrote in a note that 3,000 could be the worst-case scenario.
History says it’s a coin toss how the markets will perform in the second half. Trackers at S&P Dow Jones Global Indices said since 1957, a negative first-half results in a negative second-half roughly 50% of the time.
Back in 1970, after dropping 21%, the S&P 500 recovered its first-half losses in the second half, rising 27%.
This year, some experts are optimistic, saying the market has already priced in the risk of a mild recession. The performance, then, rests on what happens with 4-decade high inflation and how aggressive the Federal Reserve is in its response. Some are worried if high inflation persists, the Fed will be willing to push the economy into a recession to lower it.