2015 Market Correction
The 2015 market correction occurred during the 2009-2020 Bull market with the S&P 500 declining 13% over a 9-month period.
Market corrections are similar to bear markets, but are less severe. For the purposes of this analysis, bear markets have a minimum decline of 20% over a minimum period of six months (most last for a year as a minimum) with at least one bear rally (which are short rallies within a bear market).
This market cycle had one bear rally and lasted for nine months, but it lost only 13%. This cycle is more accurately referred to as a market correction.
Charts from stockcharts.com are used to analyze all of the market cycles that have occurred over the last ninety years. Analyzing the market cycles with charts gives stock investors a visual representation of how the stock market moves over time.
The S&P 500 index is the industry benchmark and is used to analyze the 2015 market correction and all market cycles from 1957.
The S&P 500 index was introduced to the stock market in 1957 and the index included back tested data to 1925 based on the historical prices of the stocks that made up the index. This provided historical data for comparison with the Dow Industrial Average.
90 Year Market Chart
The following quarterly 90-year bar chart shows the 2015 market correction which occurred during the 2009-2020 Bull market.
Chart 90yr: 2015 Market Correction
As can be readily observed from the long-term 90-year market chart, the 2015 market correction is just one of many corrections and bear markets that have occurred over the last one ninety years.
The 90-year market chart also shows an 80-quarters (20-year) simple moving average which has spent most of the last ninety years trending upwards. This shows that over the long-term the market has broadly continued higher as the moving average followed the S&P 500 index higher.
20-year Market Chart
The following chart shows the 2015 Bear market on a 20-year chart with the S&P 500 index plotted as a monthly bar chart.
Chart 20yr: 2015 Market Correction
A 12-month simple moving average is also plotted on the 20-year market chart. The 12-month moving average is a useful indicator used in Technical Analysis for highlighting market cycles.
As the 20-year market chart shows, the 12-month moving average flattened during the 2015 market correction, while the moving average spent the rest of the 2009-2020 Bull market sloping upwards. The 2015 market correction only paused the bull market rather than reversing it.
Most investors new to the stock market are under the impression that the stock market only moves in the direction of the current market cycle.
In reality, the stock market moves in cycles and alternates between bull markets (where stock prices broadly increase) and bear markets (where stock prices broadly decline).
Fortunately for investors, bull markets are usually longer than bear markets. This means that stock prices spend more time increasing in value than they do losing value.
Bull markets last anywhere from two years to around a decade, whereas bear markets are shorter and usually last a year or two and sometimes three.
3-year Market Chart
The 2015 market correction is shown again with a shorter time-frame on a 3-year chart plotted as a weekly bar chart.
Chart 3yr: 2015 Market Correction
The shorter time-frame provides more detail. As the chart shows, the 2015 market correction occurred during the 2009-2020 Bull market. The S&P 500 index lost 13% over a 9-month period.
Market Chart: Rallies and Pullbacks
The 2015 market correction is shown again with a 3-year line chart and two moving average indicators.
Chart MA: 2015 Market Correction
The above line chart for the S&P 500 index shows a 52-week (long-term) and a 12-week (short-term) simple moving average.
The 52-week moving average (purple line) turned downwards during the market correction that occurred during the 1983-1987 Bull market.
The 12-week moving average (orange line) broadly identifies the rallies and pullbacks that occurred.
The market correction started in May 2015 (noted on the chart with the 2nd RH - which stands for Relative High) and pulled back until August 2015 (the 2nd RL - Relative Low).
The S&P 500 index then rallies to peak in October 2015 (3rd RL) and sells down with a second leg to bottom in February 2016 (3rd RH).
The 2015 market correction looks like a mini bear market on the chart, but due to the mild loss it's more accurately referred to as a correction.