The current S&P 500 bull market now ranks as the fifth longest since 1960. We’ve been hearing a lot lately about how the market is poised to decline, since the bull market is getting long in the tooth, but when we look at the facts, they don’t show this. In the charts below, we have highlighted the performance of the current bull market with the four longest since 1962. The top chart details the entire bull market, while the bottom chart measures the performance of each bull market for one year from where we are now:
As the chart highlights, all but one of those bull markets continued for, not months, but years. Furthermore, even the bull market which ended the soonest still rose another 8%. This does not imply that the market is full steam ahead though.
The current bull market appears to be entering its adolescent stage where it settles down and works out its quirks before getting back on track. As any parent who has raised a child can relate, we are nervously watching this market’s progress. Will it stay the course, do the right thing, and prosper? Or will it fall into the wrong crowd without ever reaching its full potential? Like a 13-year old boy with acne and braces going to his first dance, the current period marks nothing more than an awkward stage in this bull's life.