Somewhat lost in the shuffle from the Dow's record high close last week was that this week marks the four year anniversary of the start of the bull market in October 2002. This current rally marks the fifth longest bull market since the end of World War II. In the chart below, we compared this bull market (blue line) versus all other bull markets of longer duration.
In the gray chart, we isolated the performance of the market during each of the prior bull markets which lasted four years or more. As the chart illustrates, in four of the five periods, stocks had positive returns in the fifth year. The only year they fell was during the '57 - '61 bull market, when the bull market peaked shortly after hitting the four year mark.