Of all the wild, standard-setting numbers that have come with this year's stock market rally, here's one that stands out: The S&P 500's total market value is now above $15 trillion.
The landmark breach came as the broad stock market index flirted with 1,700 in intraday trading, part of an 18.5 percent year-to-date rally.
Sparked by relatively dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, some positive economic data and pledges for easier financial conditions in Europe, the S&P 500 passed its closing high of 1.682 in early Thursday trade.
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The index's market value is now about $15.02 trillion, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
In the current bull market, the S&P 500 has gained $9.1 trillion in value. That compares to the $7.9 trillion it lost during the bear market of 2007-09 and $5.8 trillion in the previous bear run from 2000-02.
One other hopeful number Silverblatt pointed out: The total stock market value could nearly pay off the national debt of $16.7 trillion.
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"While market value is not the same as price level, the changes do tell a story," he said.