• The S&P 500 made 24 new highs, the most since 35 during the first six months of 1998.
  • The S&P 500 was up on a total return basis in each of the first six months of the year. The last two times this occurred (1995 and 1996), the index gained an additional 14.4% and 11.7% over the final six months of the year, respectively.
  • Early strength is nothing new for this bull market, as the index has been higher year to date at the end of June in each of the last seven years, matching the previous record from 1985 to 1991.
  • Again, on a total return basis, the index gained eight consecutive months for the first time since a streak ended in May 2011. Since 1990, the all-time record was 10 months, which ended in October 1995.
  • The index closed up or down at least 1% only four times during the first half of the year. The last time that occurred was 1972, with only three instances. The record was in 1964 with only one, and the most was in 1932 with 91.
  • The largest pullback was only 2.8% (March 1 until April 13) and that was the second-smallest first-half pullback ever (1995 at 1.7% is the record). The average first-half pullback has been 9.0% since 1950, making the action in 2017 all the more remarkable.
  • Hat tip Ryan Detrick