The brass Wall Street bull statue in New York's financial district
Photograph by Robert Nickelsberg — Getty Images
By Stephen Gandel
March 7, 2016

The current stock market run may be nearing retirement, according to an analyst at Standard & Poors.

The market swooned late last year and in early 2016, but stocks have been on rising rapidly again lately, up nearly 10% in the past month. Nonetheless, Howard Silverblatt, who is a senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices, thinks there’s evidence stocks might fall again soon. The reason: The current bull market has gone on for much longer than average. “It’s time to buy the bull an AARP membership,” says Silverblatt.

On March 9, it will be seven years since the market started rising again following the financial crisis. And technically we have been in a bull market ever since. (Bull market don’t end until stocks drop 20% from their peak, which never happened earlier this year, though it was close.) Most bull markets have never reached that age. On average, bull markets last 59 months. This one has been going on for 84. That makes it the third longest bull market since S&P has been tracking them. If stocks continue to rise, or don’t fall, for another two months, the current bull market will move up to No. 2.

The good news, for people who are worried about a crash that is, is that the run in stocks this time around isn’t nearly as large as some of the other bull markets. For instance, the S&P 500 rose 417% from October 1990 to March 2000. This time around stocks are less than half of that—195%.

 

 

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