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The bull market is almost 10 – here are some facts and figures

Brian Cheung

Barring a catastrophic event before the weekend, the S&P 500’s current bull market will turn 10 years old on Saturday, March 9.

Since 2009, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) has returned an annualized 17.68% total return and gained $17.5 trillion on a stock basis, according to data from Howard Silverblatt at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

That’s a long way from March 9, 2009, when the S&P 500 closed at 676.53. On that day, commentators were still analyzing President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill and word was that Bernie Madoff was going to plead guilty to running a massive multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. Shares of Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo were all trading below $10 as investors punished them for making betting too much on a housing market that crashed.

As of market close Wednesday, the S&P 500 has since surged about 310% to 2,771.45, which extends a nearly 120-month bull market. The next longest bull market was the 1990 to 2000 rally that lasted 113 months, during which the S&P 500 grew by 417%.

The current bull market in the S&P 500 is the longest on record, although the 1932-1937 and 1990-2000 bull runs have outperformed the current surge. Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices

Winners and Losers

Silverblatt wrote March 6 that consumer discretionary stocks have done the best during this current bull market, with information technology in second. To little surprise, the top contributors to the S&P 500’s growth during this period were tech companies. Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) were the two largest contributors to the S&P 500’s gains by notching total annualized returns of 32.65% and 25.18%, respectively.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and General Electric (GE) were the third and fourth largest contributors and returned 23.42% and 6.57% in total annualized returns, respectively.

“Few would have guessed fourth place - General Electric, which was up in price, with dividends adding the bulk of its impact to the index,” Silverblatt wrote.

Stock pickers could have even more attractive stocks in the S&P 500 if they bought equities like Obama suggested in early March of 2009. Over the last ten years, Ulta Beauty (ULTA) has yielded annualized total return of 53.79% and medical implant device manufacturer Abiomed (ABMD) has returned 51.90%. The third highest gainer in the last ten years: an entertainment company called Netflix (NFLX) which has booked an annualized total return of 51.75%.

Only nine companies failed to return positive annualized total returns. The worst performer: CenturyLink (CTL), which has had an annualized total return of -6.56% over the last ten years.

Brian Cheung is a reporter covering the banking industry and the intersection of finance and policy for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter @bcheungz.

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