The Nine-Year-Old Bull Still Has Momentum

The U.S. bull market, which turned nine on March 9th, is still showing momentum, despite the fact that it has been called the “most hated rally ever,” according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.

The article reports that the “epic” run for U.S. stocks has seen the S&P 500 more than quadruple, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gain 280% and the Nasdaq Composite surge by 486%. And even as concerns about pricey shares, chaos in Washington and trade war issues continue to loom, the article says, “corporate earnings look strong enough to continue supporting further stock gains, investors say, even as the Federal Reserve pares its bond holdings and raises short-term interest rates from near historic lows.”

Investor sentiment, the article points out, is more muted than during previous market rallies such as the dot-com bubble–it cites weekly survey data from the American Association of Individual Investors showing that approximately 26% of participants think the stock market will rise over the next six months, below the long-term average of 39% and below the 75% they hit in January 20000 (before the height of the tech bubble).

The article concludes, “Investors can no longer take for granted the backdrop of low interest rates, steady growth and muted inflation that helped stocks extend their multiyear highs into early 2018.”