"Close" doesn't even come close to describing it.
The rose as high as 2,131.71 on Friday, its highest level in nearly a year, as it surged 1.5 percent following a better-than-expected jobs report. But despite the rally, the index narrowly failed to rise above its intraday all-time high of 2,134.48 made last May.
It was even closer on a closing basis. The S&P finished Friday trading at 2,129.90, which is less than a point from its record closing high of 2,130.82.
While the fact that the S&P missed out on a record-book close by less than a point may be striking, most close-market watchers are shrugging it off.
"It would have been bearish if we closed below the open, but I don't think not making a high today means we won't make one going forward," Oppenheimer technical analyst Ari Wald wrote to CNBC after Friday's close.
Eddy Elfenbein, the editor of the Crossing Wall Street blog, is blunter.
"Dude, a 1.5% rally is a failure?" he wrote to CNBC, drawing out the following stats: "All-time high weekly close. All-time high total return close. In the last eight days, we're up 6.5%!"
While Wald says the S&P has a layer of resistance at 2,135, he says that increasing breadth (in terms of a great deal of stocks participating in the rally) indicate that the market will continue to rise in the days and weeks ahead.
"Rallies with broadening participation tend to be the rallies that continue, and that leads us to expect new highs this year as we've expected for months now," Wald wrote to CNBC.
Of course, calling for new highs has now become the opposite of a bold call. The S&P 500 will close at a record high on Monday if it manages to rise a mere 0.4 percent.