6 Fun Facts About SPY ETF To Cheer On 60 Years Of The S&P 500 Index

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The S&P 500 celebrates its diamond anniversary in 2017. That milestone is especially momentous for investors in mutual funds and exchange traded funds, most of whom have exposure to the index in their brokerage accounts or retirement portfolios.

The venerable Dow, established in 1896, is the measure that springs to mind for most investors when reference is made to "the market" or its ups and downs. But the S&P 500, established in 1957, is the world's most-tracked index by assets under management, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

"The S&P 500 is the king of the ETF universe," said Todd Rosenbluth, director of fund research for CFRA Research, who notes that dozens of ETFs and mutual funds follow that broad index or subsets of that index.

[ibdchart symbol="SPY" type="weekly" size="quarter" position="leftchart" ]

In 2016, three of the 10 most popular ETFs in terms of net inflow were tied to this large-cap bogey. Vanguard 500 ( VOO ), SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY ) and iShares Core S&P 500 ( IVV ) soaked in more than $75 billion of new money combined.

Most ETF investors know that the $245.14 billion SPY is the oldest, largest and most heavily traded exchange traded fund offering exposure to U.S. stocks. As the S&P 500 turns 60, a grasp of these six facts about SPY - via SPDR ETFs - will establish that you are a true student of the markets, not any old casual investor.

  • SPY has topped 70% of its peers, both active and passive, in performance over the last decade. It has a 7.8% average annual gain over the past 10 years as of March 3.
  • SPY's highest trading volume day ever was Oct. 10, 2008 - 871,546,886 shares changed hands on that single day. That was in the middle of one of the worst financial crises in stock market history. On March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 closed at 677, down 57% from where it had been just 18 months earlier and marking a nearly 13-year low.
  • In 2016, SPY traded an average of 16.1 million shares per hour.
  • SPY's average bid/ask spread of a penny ($0.01) is lower than all of the individual S&P 500 constituents it is designed to track. SPY traded at a penny-wide spread for 3,046 days as of Feb. 9, 2017.
  • The average daily volume for SPY over the last three months would only be surpassed after aggregating the next 14 largest ETFs by assets under management.
  • A $100,000 investment in SPY on its first day of trading - Jan. 22, 1993 - would be worth $819,615.99 on Feb. 8, 2017.

SPY nudged lower on the stock market today , but U.S. stocks have six straight weeks of gains at their back as they trade near all-time highs.


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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