A Late Swoon Halts 50-Day Streak of Nothing Happening in S&P 500

(Bloomberg) -- A final-hour descent in the S&P 500 put to bed a streak that had been trotted out to show how bullet-proof the stock market is.

It was consecutive days without a 0.5 percent decline, a streak that hit 50 yesterday, the longest since 1965, but couldn’t make it to 51. While the benchmark measure was down only 0.6 percent today, it was the worst decline in two months.

While it’s too early to claim the death of the buy-the-dip mentality that has persisted through this year, the failure to hold up is the latest in a series of incremental blows to bulls. The late selling also disrupted a week-long pattern where the S&P 500 started its cash session by dropping below its last close, then bounced back to end the day in the upper band of its trading range.

Wednesday’s session began a similar path, with the index dropping 0.8 percent before clawing back three quarters of the decline by midday. The market held up near intraday highs until the final 30 minutes to succumb to fresh selling. At the end of the day, it traded lower than the mid-point of the day’s peak and trough for the first time in six days.

Another crack: for the first time since late August, the S&P 500 closed below its average price in the last 20 days. The index had stayed above the trend line for 54 days through Tuesday, on par with a 2007 streak as the longest in almost two decades.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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