LET THEM EAT CAKE

Happy birthday US bull market, you are 8 years old today!

Party hats and cake at the ready! The US bull market is marking its eighth birthday today! 🎂 🎉

Starting on March 9, 2009, this bull market—currently the second-longest and fourth-strongest for the S&P 500—has pushed up the index by about 250%. The longest bull run was from October 1990 to March 2000. The S&P 500 surged 417% in that time, followed by a 49% correction.

S&P_500_stock_index_Bull_Bear

Reaching a bit farther back, the bull market from 1932 to 1937 pushed the S&P up 325% and a run from 1949 to 1956 sent the index 266% higher.

The S&P calls a bull market when the index rises at least 20%; it ends after the index declines at least 20% from the peak.

How much longer does this bull have to run? Markets are riding a wave of optimism that US President Donald Trump’s plans to cut taxes and regulation will boost corporate profits and the economy. But economists don’t think you should be celebrating. Global growth is still slow and the problems of low productivity growth and rising inequality persist. Meanwhile, Trump’s stance on immigration and trade could actively harm US economic growth.

But for now, markets continue their happy run. The biggest beneficiary has been the consumer discretionary sector, which has risen almost 450% and includes hotel companies and stocks like Amazon and Starbucks. Financial stocks have risen more than 390% since March 2009, followed by information technology companies, which are up about 350%. The energy sector has fared the worst, gaining about 70%. It now only represents 7% of the companies in the index, compared to 14% when the bull ran began.

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