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YTD versus other time periods

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On December 12, 2005 @ 11:44 am In Financial Press,Investing,Markets | Comments Disabled

Aaron Task is Executive Editor at The Street.com; He’s a fairly skeptical guy, not given to the usual cheerleading. In a discussion [1] today about the markets, Task notes that "the key is when you start the proverbial (or actual) clock."  While YTD returns for the averages aren’t "all that impressive," but other time frames are.  Since the Oct.
2002 lows:

– The Dow is up 43%, the S&P is up 57.3%, the Nasdaq is up 98% and the
Russell 2000 is up 100%.

– The Nikkei recently hit a 5-year high;

– Oil is up 127% in the past 5 years;

– Gold is up 92% in the past 5 years while copper is up 56%.

– New Home sales hit an all-time record
in October; Existing home sales are just 4% below the all-time peak hit in June.

Task also notes that "by most historical standards, this bull market is therefore long in the
tooth, although the "final innings" are often the best for market-cap weighted


I would only add that in addition to YTD being flat, the Dow is negative to flat over 6 and 4.5 years, up 8% over 5 years, and has been rangebound since 2003 (10,985 is the breakout).

The SPX is up 9% over 4 years, flat over 4.5 years (May 2001), down 5% over 5 years and down 14% over 6 years.

Performance measures are often a quirk of time periods. The abuse of these stats is why the SEC standardized the way Mutual Funds report them in their marketing materials — they no longer get to cherry pick the best data, and instead have to report several different time periods (e.g., 1,3 5 years) . . . 

Who’s a Bull? [1]
Aaron Task
Real Money.com, 12/12/2005 10:53 AM EST

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[1] discussion: http://www.thestreet.com/p/dps/cc/columnistconversation1.html#entryId10256942

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