Flickr / David Shankbone
- On March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 marked its low point for the worst bear market in stocks since the Great Depression.
- Since then, the benchmark index has more than quadrupled in value.
- The bull market turns 10 on Saturday.
- Five companies saw their share prices stretch hundredfold during the bull market, according to the digital-trading platform TradeStation.
Saturday will mark the 10th anniversary of the longest bull market in history.
On March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 index closed at 676.53, marking the low point for the worst bear market in stocks since the Great Depression. Since then, the benchmark index has more than quadrupled in value to above 2,770.
The market was extremely oversold a decade ago as the financial crisis created a rare level of panic, David Russell, vice president at TradeStation, the fifth-largest digital trading platform in the US told Business Insider.
"We haven’t had any real problem since then," he said, adding that Greece’s default on an IMF loan payment, the UK’s Brexit vote, and the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hikes haven’t been able to derail the strong economic fundamentals in the US.
While the bull market is the longest ever, it isn’t the strongest, according to John Lynch, chief investment strategist at LPL Financial.
"In fact, this bull market is the only one ever with two 20% or more declines based on intraday prices," Lynch said. "In October 2011 and again in December 2018, the S&P 500 fell 20% from prior highs, only to rally by the daily close to narrowly avoid entering a bear market."
Some companies have taken full advantage of this decade-long bull run, seeing their stock prices stretch hundredfold.
Here are the five biggest winners during the stock market’s record-setting bull market based on data from TradeStation. The list is in ascending order of companies’ 10-year performance through March 5.
Sector: Consumer cyclical
10-year performance: +9,089%
"Few companies demonstrate how consumers today are looking for experiences over simple merchandise better than ULTA," Russell said.
"The cosmetics and beauty company has merged the touch of a salon with brands into a winning business strategy. This has allowed it to grow same-store sales consistently in the double digits, even at a time when other retailers are going bust."
10-year performance: +11,185%
"Its Cologuard test has become a mainstay in the early detection of colorectal cancer," Russell said.
"Along the way it has partnered with Pfizer’s sales force. It has enjoyed revenue growth in the 50-100% range."
Sector: Consumer cyclical
10-year performance: +15,600%
"Another penny-stock-turned high flier," Russell noted.
"The Texas telecom company is a classic example of media consolidation done right. In addition to successfully realizing synergies from the purchases of firms like Media General and Communications Corp. of America, NXST has also benefited from increased political broadcasting. Many of the big losers listed below were dragged down by debt, but NXST is an example of leverage used the right way."
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