Historic Milestone: U.S. Stocks Achieve a Feat Last Seen in 1972

U.S. stocks have achieved a remarkable feat not seen since the era of President Richard Nixon’s tenure in the White House.

The S&P 500 (SPX) marked its 14th week of gains out of 15 on Friday, a streak not witnessed since March 10, 1972, as per Dow Jones Market Data. This occurrence is only the 13th of its kind since the index’s inception in 1957.

Yet, the significance of the index’s ascent over this period doesn’t require a distant historical reference. The S&P 500 has surged by 22.1% over the past 15 weeks, as of Friday’s close, the most substantial 15-week gain since the period ending August 28, 2020, according to Dow Jones data.

On Friday, the index closed above 5,000 for the first time, marking its 10th record close of the year, according to Dow Jones data.

However, the S&P 500 isn’t the only major U.S. equity index to notch a historic winning streak on Friday. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also climbed for the 14th week out of 15.

In the case of the Nasdaq, the last time it achieved such a streak was during a 15-week period ending on August 8, 1997.

For the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), which barely registered a gain for the week on Friday, it was the first such occurrence since May 12, 1995. Such winning streaks for the DJIA have only happened 14 times since its creation in the late 19th century.

As for the Nasdaq, it was only the sixth time since its inception that it reached such a milestone. One instance was a 15-week winning streak ending on March 10, 1972.

The rally in U.S. stocks has been robust since reaching their recent near-term bottom in late October, when the S&P 500 hit its weakest level in five months.

The primary driver behind this market surge has been the Federal Reserve’s pivot away from raising interest rates, leaning instead toward maintaining them or possibly cutting them later in the year, according to Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisors Alliance.

Zaccarelli also pointed to the surprising resilience of the U.S. economy as another factor bolstering stocks over the past year.

U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Friday, with all three major indexes notching weekly gains, even as the Dow lagged. The S&P 500 closed 0.6% higher at 5,026.61, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.3% to 15,990.66, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.1% at 38,671.69. The Russell 2000 also saw gains, closing up 1.5% at 2,009.99.

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