S&P historical returns for 5 best periods

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Wall Street is a place that seems to cheat gravity. Market values climb relentlessly despite countless dips and plunges over the years. Sometimes they rise for so long that investors forget the laws of physics still apply.

But they do. What goes up falls back down — at least for a while.

Analyzing annual stock prices from Yale economist Robert Shiller, Bankrate identifies five five-year periods when the stock market provided the greatest gains, as measured by the S&P Composite Stock Price Index using average December index values.