S&P 500 Index Rises 15% In Year’s First Half

The S&P 500 is on pace to close out the first half of 2024 with a gain of 15%, one of the best performances ever for the benchmark American index.

The S&P 500’s first-half performance is on par with similar gains seen in 2023 and 2021. However, the 15% year-to-date gains is three times greater than the index’s historical average gain of 4.72%, according to market data.

The past six months also represents the best start for the index in a presidential election year ever, say analysts.

The S&P 500 is comprised of the 500 largest stocks by market capitalization that are listed on U.S. exchanges and is viewed as a bellwether for American securities.

Analysts note that a handful of mega-cap technology stocks continue to fuel the S&P 500’s rally, which began in October 2022 and has continued for 20 months.

Nvidia (NVDA), in particular, has been driving the market higher, having gained 157% so far in 2024 and achieving a $3 trillion U.S. market capitalization.

Meta Platforms (META), Alphabet (GOOG/GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) have also driven the S&P 500 higher since January of this year.

Beyond the S&P 500, the technology-laden Nasdaq index in the U.S. has gained 20% in the year’s first half while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 4%.

By comparison, the Toronto Stock Exchange, Canada’s benchmark index, has increased 5% through the first six months of 2024.

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