The market is doing something it hasn't since 1995

Even as oil slides on Tuesday, for its fourth decline of more than 1 percent in the past five days, the S&P 500 has held up remarkably well, slipping a mere 0.2 percent in the past week.

In fact, the market's string of stoicism is downright historical.

The S&P has failed to close lower by 1 percent or more since Oct. 11, for the longest such string of not-down-1-percent-plus days since the one ended in December 1995. Notably, 1995 was an incredibly quiet year for the market — earlier in 1995, the S&P went 110 days without a 1 percent drop, according to a CNBC analysis of FactSet data.

Before that, the longest such streak was in 1985, when 112 straight non-1-percent drops were enjoyed.

Unsurprisingly, both 1985 and 1995 were glorious years for the market, with the S&P rising 26 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Yet 1995 makes the better comparison to the current period.

While the S&P saw several 1 percent rises in 1985, it only moved by 1 percent or more on 13 trading days in all of 1995. Similarly, the S&P 500 has only moved by 1 percent or more on one day since early December.

Michael Block, chief strategist at Rhino Trading Partners, credits the recent streak to "an overlying sense that nothing bad is allowed to happen," partially due to optimism about President Donald Trump's stated tax cut, deregulation and infrastructure plans.

Investors have the sense that "a miracle is coming, and I'm not going to say it's not — but it's being priced in, clearly," Block told CNBC in a Tuesday phone interview.

In the meantime, "everyone's been lulled into buying every shallow dip," so that the larger dips simply don't happen, the strategist explained.

The true test for the market's indefatigability may come on Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve is widely expected to increase its short-term rate targets.


Trades to Watch

Trader Bios


Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

Read more