Don’t Forget About the S&P 500

While the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) continues to steal the spotlight by extending its best winning-streak in more than 16 years, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) is putting on a show of its own.

The S&P 500 gained 8.71 points on Wednesday to close at 1,563.23, less than 2 points away from its all-time nominal high set in October 2007. All ten key sectors finished higher with tech and energy leading the way. In March, the index has logged only one close in the red so far.

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Although the Dow has been making a new all-time closing high every day for almost two weeks, many market participants prefer to use the S&P 500 as the key benchmark. The index includes 500 leading large cap domestic companies, as opposed to only 30 companies found in the Dow. The S&P 500 was first published in 1957 and captures 75 percent coverage of U.S. equities. However, both indices tend to move in the same direction.

The Dow and S&P 500 have a very close relationship. The rolling one-year correlation between the two indices using daily percentage moves over the last three decades is almost 0.97, according to research firm Bespoke Investment Group. A perfect correlation is 1.0. The correlation has been losing a bit of strength since the start of the current bull market, but with central banks running the show, both have posted impressive gains this year. Excluding dividends, the S&P 500 is up 9.6 percent year-to-date, while the Dow has increased about 11 percent.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest movers in the S&P 500 and their recent performances…