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Weekly S&P 500 index performance 2021

Between March 4 and March 11, 2020, the S&P 500 index dropped by twelve percent, descending into a bear market. On March 12, the S&P 500 plunged 9.5 percent, its steepest one-day fall since 1987. The index began to recover at the start of April, and as of January 20, 2021 had reached a new record of 3,849.62.68. As of February 17, 2021 the S&P 500 stood at 3,876.5 points.

Coronavirus sparks stock market chaos

Stock markets plunged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with investors fearing its spread would destroy economic growth. Buoyed by figures that suggested cases were leveling off in China, investors were initially optimistic about the virus being contained. However, confidence in the market started to subside as the number of cases increased worldwide. Investors were deterred from buying stocks, and this was reflected in the markets – the values of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite also dived during the height of the crisis.

What is a bear market?

A bear market occurs when the value of a stock market suffers a prolonged decline of more than 20 percent over a period of at least two months. The COVID-19 pandemic caused severe concern and sent stock markets on a steep downward spiral. The S&P 500 achieved a record closing high of 3,386 on February 19, 2020. However, just over three weeks later, the market closed on 2,480, which represented a decline of around 26 percent in only 16 sessions.

Weekly development of the S&P 500 index from January 2020 to February 2021

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Release date

February 2021


United States

Survey time period

January 1, 2020 to February 17, 2021

Supplementary notes

Closing values.

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Statistics on "Stock market indices"

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