Factbox: Bull market turns 8 - historical facts and figures

(Reuters) - The S&P 500’s bull market run turns eight years old on Thursday as equities rebound from the sharpest recession since the Great Depression.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A bull market is generally defined as a 20 percent rise in the S&P 500 from its previous low, and ends when the index declines 20 percent from its high.

Over that time, extremely accommodative monetary policy from the Federal Reserve and a slowly improving U.S. economy have enabled the benchmark index to more than triple from its low.

Below are some facts and figures on the current bull market:

* The eight-year run for the current bull market is the second longest in history, behind the one that lasted from Oct. 11, 1990 to March 24, 2000.

* The 250 percent gain for the index during the bull run is the fourth-best. The longest bull in the 1990s stands also as the most rewarding yet for stock investors, with a gain of 417 percent.

* The total market capitalization of the S&P 500 is close to $21 trillion, compared to $5.89 trillion eight years ago.

* Incyte Corp is the best performer among companies that have remained in the S&P 500 through the full bull market, with a gain of nearly 6,600 percent. Southwestern Energy, with a decline of more than 72 percent, is the worst performer.

* Consumer discretionary is the best performing sector with a gain of nearly 450 percent. The energy sector, with a gain of about 67 percent, is the worst.

* The unemployment rate at the start of the bull market was 8.3 percent, on its way to a high of 10 percent in October 2009. The most recent payrolls report showed an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

* The final gross domestic product reading in March 2009 showed a year-on-year contraction of 5.7 percent. The Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now forecast model released on Wednesday expects the economy to grow 1.2 percent through the current quarter.

Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by James Dalgleish