J. P. Morgan was once asked what he thought the stock market would do.
“It will fluctuate,” he replied.
That has certainly been true in 2020. The stock market rose to record highs in January and the first few weeks of February, careened into the most rapid descent into bear market territory in living memory in late February and early March, and now has recorded its best month in 33 years.
The S&P 500 dipped 0.92 percent on Thursday, which makes for a 12.6 percent rise for the month of April. That makes it the best month since Janauary 1987, when the stock market was nearing the crescendo of a four year-long bull market and rose 13.2 percent. That best month on record for the index is October 1974, when it rose an eye-popping 16.3 percent.
The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.28 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.17 percent. The small-cap Russell 2000 got hammered, falling 3.68 percent.
Ten of the 11 S&P sectors fell, with Communication Services nearly flat and Consumer Discretionary up.
Despite the wild gyrations in stocks, the S&P is nearly unchanged from 12 months ago.