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The S&P 500 Gained More Than Double Its Historical Average in the First Half of 2024

June 27, 2024
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The S&P 500 index is on track to achieve significant gains for the first half of 2024, with its performance set to far exceed the historical average, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

"The end of the first half of 2024 is rapidly approaching," noted Bespoke in an email on Wednesday. As the U.S. stock market enters its final week of trading for June, the S&P 500 index, which represents large-cap U.S. stocks, finished Wednesday with a modest rise, bringing its year-to-date gain to 14.8%, based on FactSet data.

While the index's performance in the first half of 2024 is comparable to its gains in the first six months of 2023 and 2021, it significantly surpasses the historical average gain of 4.72% since 1953, according to Bespoke.

A select group of Big Tech stocks has driven the S&P 500's rally this year. Nvidia Corp.'s shares have surged around 155% in 2024, according to FactSet data. Other major contributors include Meta Platforms Inc., Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and Microsoft Corp., all of which have seen their shares rise more than the S&P 500 index through Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the U.S. stock market closed higher, with the S&P 500 up 0.2%, the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbing 0.5%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting a slight gain of less than 0.1%.

In the second quarter, the S&P 500 rose by more than 4%, following a 10.2% jump in the first three months of the year, according to FactSet data. The index has gained 3.8% so far in June.

Looking ahead, Bespoke suggests that July is historically a strong month for equities. "July is a great time of the year for equities," the firm noted. "The best month of the year for the S&P 500, both since its inception and over the past 20 years, is July."

The first half of 2024 has seen the S&P 500 outperform its historical averages due to the substantial contributions from a few major tech stocks. Nvidia, in particular, has experienced a remarkable surge of around 155% this year, significantly boosting the index. Similarly, Meta Platforms, Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft have all seen substantial gains, outpacing the overall index.

Wednesday’s trading session saw modest gains across major U.S. indices. The S&P 500 increased by 0.2%, the Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.5%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up by less than 0.1%. These gains contribute to the S&P 500's robust performance in 2024, with the index climbing over 4% in the second quarter after a strong 10.2% rise in the first quarter.

June has been another positive month for the S&P 500, with a 3.8% increase so far. This strong performance sets a positive tone as the market moves into the second half of the year.

Bespoke highlights July as a particularly favorable month for equities, noting that historically, it has been the best month for the S&P 500 both since its inception and over the past 20 years. This historical trend provides an optimistic outlook for the market as it transitions from June to July.

In summary, the S&P 500 has had an exceptional first half of 2024, driven largely by the impressive performance of key tech stocks. As the market approaches the end of June, the index is set to significantly outperform its historical average gains. With July historically being a strong month for equities, there is a positive outlook for the continued performance of the S&P 500.

Cathy Hills
Associate Editor
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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