Nasdaq set to end bear market, Dow to end correction after July CPI data

The Nasdaq Composite was on course to exit a brutal bear market on Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was set to end a market correction, as stocks rose in the wake of a cooler inflation reading in July.

Nasdaq Composite COMP,
was up 2.5% near 12,810 in midday trade. According to Dow Jones Market Data, a finish at or above 12,775.32 would mark a gain of 20% or more from the Nasdaq’s June 16 close of 10,646.10, meeting widely used criteria for exiting a bear market (see diagram below).

meanwhile, it was up about 540 points, or 1.6%, near 33,315. A finish above 32,877.66 would see the blue-chip gauge, which has avoided a bear market, log a gain of 10% or more from its correction low.

Shares found support after an overall consumer price index for July showed a better decline for rising prices than expected. But some market watchers were wary of saying that definitively based on indices that cleared an arbitrary threshold.

“One of the most enduring signals of when we’re leaving a bear market is when 90% of S&P 500 stocks shoot through their 50-day moving average, then it’s moving toward escape velocity,” Quincy Krosby, global chief strategist at brokerage LPL Financia, told MarketWatch on the phone Tuesday.

According to Dow Jones Market Data, as of Monday, only 77.3% of the S&P 500 SPX,
shares and 74.2% of the Nasdaq Composite COMP,
stocks closed above the 50-day moving average.

See: We are in a bear market rally and you can expect the June 2022 lows to be broken

The Nasdaq fell 33.7% from its recent bear market high to its low, and has been in a bear market for 107 trading days. The decline marks the deepest and longest bear market since 2008, when the index fell 54% and the period lasted 218 trading days, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

For other indices there is of course the S&P 500 SPX,
– America’s major benchmark index – which really counts when it comes to US shares. The index has also bounced but remains in a bear market after completing a more than 20% slide from its record close on January 3.

Morgan Stanley’s Michael Wilson, one of Wall Street’s most vocal bears, also argued that the best part of the rally was over.

“The rally in stocks has been strong and has led investors to believe that the bear market is over and looking forward to better times,” the chief investment officer said in a client note on Monday. “But we think it’s too early to sound all-clear just because inflation has peaked. The next leg may have to wait until September, when our negative operational gearing task is better reflected in earnings estimates. But with valuations that have stretched, we think the the best part of the rally is over.”

See: Veteran strategist Dennis Gartman says it’s still a bear market with no Fed pivot in sight

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
the popular gauge of 30 so-called blue-chip companies, has not only avoided a bear market, but has traded on the verge of exiting correction territory. The Dow has not suffered a 20% drawdown – the arbitrary market used in a popular definition of a bear market. That’s a slide of more than 10% from the record close in early January, but qualified for a market correction.

See: A rising stock market is on the verge of signaling a “big” move – but there’s a catch

What history tells us

So, what does history tell us about the Nasdaq if it enters bull market territory, and what does it say about the Dow when it leaves behind a correction?

Dow Jones Market Data compiled the tables below:

Nasdaq performance after an entry into a bull market.


The table below is based on all corrections since 1950, but it excludes corrections that later turned into bear markets.


The last 20 corrections and the following performance in the DJIA


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