Remember the carnage just before Christmas? The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 Index registered their fifth straight gains yesterday, which means that both indexes have now exited their corrections, defined as a drop of 10 percent from a market high.
The Dow has climbed 10.1 percent from its December 24 low, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.4 percent from that Christmas Eve low. That was the day that stocks put in the worst performance ever on the day before Christmas.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index is up nearly 13 percent from its own Christmas Eve low, but that index remains squarely in bear-market territory, usually defined as a decline of at least 20 percent from a bull-market peak. The Nasdaq needs to climb another 7.7 percentage points to break out of its bear market, which it entered on December 21.