Timeline: When this bull market began, Obama was still unpacking | Reuters.com
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Timeline: When this bull market began, Obama was still unpacking

Seven years ago, Barbie turned 50 and rapper Flo Rida's single "Right Round" topped the pop charts. But for investors, the biggest news on March 2009 - though they didn't know it at the time - was the bottoming out of stocks and the beginning of the third-longest bull market in U.S. history.

  • Seven years ago on Wednesday, newbie President Obama ended a federal stem cell research ban, Barbie turned 50 and rapper Flo Rida's hit single "Right Round" topped the charts. 

    But for investors, there was bigger news.


    Barbie dolls are shown in the toy department of a retail store in Encinitas, California October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake


  • The major news on March 9, 2009 for investors - though they didn't know it at the time - was the bottoming out of stocks and the beginning of the third-longest bull market in U.S. history.


    Foam figures of bulls are seen in front of a share price index. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach  

  • The current bull market will be 2,557 days old on Wednesday. It would have to last 2,608 days to make it the second-longest and 3,454 days to be the longest ever. 


    A man inside a floorstanding "human clock" uses a marking pen to set the time, January 3, 2010. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis 

  • As a sample of how things have changed since the horns of the bull market first poked through - the S&P 500 is up 193 percent, to 1,979.26 at last close, compared to a closing low of 676.53 when the stock market hit the floor seven years ago.


    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly before the closing bell, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson 

  • The S&P 500 reached its most recent high on May 21, 2015, when it was up 217 percent from the 2009 low. 

    To maintain bull market status, the index would have to surpass that high and keep climbing. If, instead, it goes down 20 percent from that high, that date will be seen as the official end of the bull market.


    Styrofoam bull figurines are pictured in front of a monitor on the trading floor of Frankfurt's stock exchange, June 21, 2013. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski 

  • Of the S&P's 10 major sectors, the consumer discretionary one grew the most during the bull, surging about 378 percent. Energy has lagged the most, growing only 43.1 percent.


    Oil pumps are seen at a MAX oil station in Yangon April 21, 2014. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun 

  • Two other major indexes, the Dow and the Nasdaq, grew about 159 percent and 266 percent, respectively.

    Along with stocks, the job market has been on the incline, with an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. In 2009, unemployment hovered around 8.7 percent.


    A man fills out a form at a booth at a military veterans' job fair in Carson, California October 3, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 


  • And one of the few things that hasn't seemed to change since the start of the bull market are the pop charts. 

    Seven years after topping the charts with "Right Round", rapper Flo Rida is still near the top - this time with "Hello Friday".



    REUTERS/Danny Moloshok 

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