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S&P 500 Retreats from Latest Record

Chris Preston

Ho-hum, the S&P 500 toppled another all-time record yesterday. It was the second time the benchmark index has done so in the past three weeks.

A 0.7% gain on Monday pushed the S&P to a close of 1,593.61 – 24 cents higher than the previous peak, set on April 11. Not surprisingly, the index is pulling back a bit today, as it did after the last record day.

The latest record high couldn’t be coming at a more opportune time given that the “Sell In May” period begins tomorrow. Over the past five years, the index has posted average losses of nearly 4% from May 1 through October 31.

A 4% decline from here would shave roughly 63 points off of the S&P 500, dropping it to about 1,529 – still 133 points than it was this time a year ago. In 2012, the index shot up 11.2% over the first four months of the year. This year it rose 9%.

Despite the fast start a year ago, the S&P still managed to eke out another 1% between May and the end of October. Should that happen again this year, stocks would move even further into uncharted territory – shattering more records along the way.