By Alan Murray and David Meyer
August 22, 2018

Good morning.

Unless stocks suffer a catastrophic collapse today, the bull market will become the longest in history. Kind of. Turns out measuring bull markets isn’t exactly a science.

The standard definition is a stock rise uninterrupted by a 20% correction, on a closing basis. By that definition, this one has lasted 3,453 days. But turns out the market pullback from July 16 to Oct. 11, 1990, actually was only 19.9%. Only with rounding does that interrupt what would be an even longer bull market. Then there are the other analysts who argue the standard bull market definition isn’t sufficiently nuanced. If you care enough to explore further, try this story on MarketWatch.

But despite its advanced age, the bull market shows little sign of ending. The S&P 500 hit a new intraday high yesterday, driven by optimism that the U.S. and China would work out their trade woes. And despite years of concerns about interest rate rises, the ten year rate remains improbably below 3%—and roughly zero when adjusted for inflation. President Trump may complain about interest rate hikes, but there is little evidence of tight credit. That’s why some strategists are arguing the bull market could still have room to run. Barrons is betting it will end sometime in 2020.

By the way, anyone who doubts the strong connection between this bull market and President Trump should consider this: stock futures dropped yesterday on reports that Michael Cohen had pled guilty and implicated Trump in the process. The bulls want Trump to stay.

More news below.

Alan Murray


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