Over the prior weeks, Katie and I have started and completed watching numerous series and movies. Some have been worth viewing, while others were not very good. One such series we began watching was World War II in Colour. While not new, it has been especially impactful as we begin the Memorial Day weekend.
Per History.com, Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and began to honor those who were lost while fighting in the Civil War. With World War I, the holiday evolved to commemorate all American military personnel who have been lost in all wars. (By the way, my great grandfather served in France in World War I. Occasionally, my Dad would tell me stories of his service that I plan on telling Francis when he grows up.) Historically, Memorial Day was observed on May 30, but in 1968 with the passage of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Memorial Day was established as the last Monday in May with this change taking effect in 1971.
One movie and set of scenes about World War II that I always seem to remember is Saving Private Ryan and the Omaha Beach Scene. For those who have seen this scene, you know how impactful it was.
Yesterday, I came across something which impacted me in a similar way. When people hear various numbers today on various events, it can be very hard to visualize those numbers. Please see the below link to a short video of a short-lived art piece completed in September 2013 called The Fallen 9000 which makes the number of people lost at Normandy a little easier to understand.
The Fallen 9000
If you have any family or friends who died in any wars, please accept my gratitude for their sacrifice. My hope is that we never forget their enormous ultimate sacrifice they gave us and our future generations.
Pivoting to the markets, in the face of the devastating loss of human life and historically weak economic data, however, the S&P 500 Index has experienced one of its greatest short-term rallies ever, up more than 30% from the March 23 lows at its recent peak. As measured by the S&P 500, the market was up approximately 3.2% this week.
Based on historical trends, a warranted correction in stocks over the coming months may be possible. Stock valuations are historically expensive, tensions are building between the United States and China, the stock market’s momentum is showing signs of waning, and we are entering the historically weak summer months—all of these are reasons to be alert.
History bears this out. All major S&P 500 bear markets in the past 60 years had a significant bounce off the market lows, followed by a correction of about 10% on average before another surge higher. Based on this historical trend, a market correction of 8–12% after the recent big rally may be likely over the coming months.
With the unofficial start of summer upon us, have a safe and enjoyable weekend and do not forget to spend a few minutes thinking of those individuals who sacrificed their lives for our country.
Chris Zeches, CFP®