On March 11th, 2020, the Oklahoma City Thunder were scheduled to play the Utah Jazz. But that game never happened; 35 minutes after the scheduled start time, it was cancelled. In that moment, the pandemic became “real”. It was now clear that COVID was going to change our lives in profound ways.
The next day, the S&P 500 declined by nearly 10% - the largest one day decline for the index in more than 30 years (Black Monday in October 1987).
By the end of the week, the S&P 500 was nearly 30% lower than where it had traded less than a month earlier. Fast forward to today: the S&P 500 closed at 4,766 on Friday – more than 100% higher than the March 2020 lows.
The market prognosticators were humbled once again in 2021, with the average Wall Street analyst predicting the index would end the year just shy of 4,100 (despite their poor track record, they will no doubt be back to tell us what their crystal ball is expecting for 2022). The S&P 500 was up ~29% for the year (total return), its best trailing three-year performance since 1999.