As the first three months of 2022 come to an end, the stock market is on the way to its first quarterly loss since the first quarter of 2020, when the Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 index lost -19.6% of its value. To be clear, stocks returned profits in seven straight quarters following the first quarter of 2020, when the pandemic struck.
This table shows how often a losing quarter has occurred since 2015. Past performance never is a guarantee of future results, and there is a risk the pattern of intermittent losses shown here will not be repeated. That risk is precisely why the stock market has rewarded investors with much greater returns than risk-free government backed Treasury Bills for many decades!
The stock market is volatile and may yet end the quarter on Thursday by eking out a gain. If not, we want to remind you that the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 index of Americaâ€™s largest publicly investable companies, is up about +17% in the past 12 months and nearly +70% since the Covid low of March 23, 2020.
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