Last spring and summer, we were incorrectly skeptical that a new bull had been born only five weeks after the death of oldest bull ever. But be careful with labels. Just as the “bear market” mindset caused us to overplay our hand last spring, equity bulls should not assume the current bull will look anything like the decade-long affairs we’ve seen twice in the last 30 years.
One would think that one of the most explosive market rallies of all time would trip-off all the traditional “breadth thrust” signals, or maybe even invent a few of its own. Sorry, no luck.
One of the great contrary trades in recent memory may well have been the Consumer Discretionary stocks during the last recession and early in the recovery. The consumer had been written off, but these stocks have been the clear market leader. It looks, however, like the move may be running out of steam.
All bull markets since 1896 are examined and compared with the current specimen in terms of cumulative month by month gains. In terms of dynamics, this is an exceptional market, but hardly unprecedented. Also, all the long sustained uninterrupted uptrends of the past (like those in the 1950’s) are examined. Is this another one of those? We don’t think so. The current specimen has gone too far too fast.