S&P historical returns for 5 best periods
Graph source: Robert Shiller
Increase over previous 5 years: 120.9 percent
The Asian financial crisis briefly knocked the wind out of the stock market's sails in October 1997. That month, stock prices suddenly dropped in the space of one week, with the S&P 500 losing nearly 10 percent. Nonetheless, markets rallied to end the year on a high note. Between January 1995 and the end of 1997, the market gained about 111 percent as the tech industry flourished.