As of the market close today (March 11, 2020), the S&P narrowly avoided falling into a bear market according to Sam Stovall, at Chief Investment Strategist at CFRA Research. These are his comments:
"In a case of 'follow the leader,' the S&P 500 is doggedly testing the 20% (closing) decline threshold, which the DJIA eclipsed today. Should a new S&P 500 bear market emerge before 4/11/2020, it would result in the 13th (by our measure) since WWII. More impressive, it would become the quickest to fall 10% and the fastest to close below the -20% level. Yet like the rapid removal of a band aid, swift sell offs have historically resulted in shallow declines. Indeed, the prior bear markets that hit the -20% level quicker than the average 270 days not only bottomed most rapidly but also recorded the shallowest declines, averaging a loss of 26% versus the average drop of 33% for all bear markets, with the deepest being the bear of 1987 which shed 33.5%."