Following the Standard & Poor's 500 stock market index's performance since its launch in March 1957, you are left wondering whether the steep mountain that has piled up since the 1980s is admirable or depressing. When you look at the bigger picture over the past 60 years, the question arises if the most recent headlines about the stock market woes somehow miss the point. You can clearly make out the two most severe recent crashes: the Dot-Com Bubble that started bursting in 2000 and the Financial Crisis that took hold late in 2007.
The S&P is based on the market capitalization of 500 large domestic companies listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. Formerly called the Composite Index, and later Standard & Poor’s Composite Index, the index had first been launched on a small scale in 1923, it began tracking 90 stocks in 1926 and expanded to the current 500 in 1957. Here's an overview of other stock market indices