Thursday, February 13, 2014

The bull market nears its 5th birthday

The last time stocks across the board fell more than 10% was back in the summer of 2011 during the debt-ceiling debacle and subsequent S&P downgrade of U.S. debt. As a result, the S&P 500 Index swung down as much as 20% from late July to October before shifting to its current recovery.

In the current bull market and the past three comparable bull markets since 1980, 10% or more corrections have been a rarity, with two of those in the current bull run since 2009, and one during the 2002-2007 bull market. More common are pullbacks in the 5% to 10% range, which average about 10 per bull market. The current bull market has a higher than average number of those pullbacks: 13 since 2009.

What’s more likely to become the normal for at least the rest of the year is volatility and more pullbacks that are not-quite corrections, the strategists said. That’s the sort of thing that identifies a healthy bull market.

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