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Happy Birthday Bull!

The bull market for stocks that began off the lows on March 9th, 2009 turns five years old this weekend, and what a bull market it has been!  Following its lows on 3/9/09, the S&P 500 Index has more than doubled, gaining 1,195.72 points or 176.74%.  Assuming all dividends were reinvested, $1,000 invested in the S&P 500 at the lows would be worth $3,089.00 today.  There have been rough patches, but the strength in stocks for the last five years counts as one of the best periods to own equities in the last century.  Below are nine charts telling the tale of the market, including major index performance, valuations, sector performance, large cap versus mid cap versus small cap performance, equity performance versus Treasuries, and US equity performance versus G7 and BRIC countries.  

We've also included two tables comprised of the twenty best and twenty worst performing stocks over the last five years, selected from current members of the S&P 500.  Regeneron (REGN), Wyndham (WYN), and CBS (CBS) have all exploded upwards by over 2000%, but their performance pales in comparison to General Growth Partners (GGP): an astounding gain of 7,775% over the last five years.  On the other end of the spectrum, only 11 of the stocks currently listed in the S&P 500 had negative returns over the course of the bull market, lead by a 47.37% decline in First Solar (FSLR), which remains the most volatile name in the index as measured by average absolute percent change over the past year. 

In addition to the charts and tables below, we're celebrating the 5-year anniversary of the bull market with a 10% discount on our Bespoke Newsletter and Bespoke Premium services!  Our paid content is where you'll find our thoughts and analysis on whether or not this bull market can make it to six years old.  Just use the code 'birthdaybull' at checkout between now and Monday morning to receive the discount.  New subscribers will also receive a complimentary game of 'Collapse', the family-friendly game that commemorates the events of the 2008 financial crisis!  Navigate the turbulent waters of the crisis with an exciting game of 'Collapse'!