While the eight-year anniversary of the financial crisis low was on March 9th, the bull market didn’t officially turn eight until last Friday when the S&P 500 closed at its first new all-time high since March 1st (eight days before the eight-year anniversary). Below we have updated our bull market charts which compare the current bull market in the context of prior bulls in terms of length and strength. Remember, we define bull and bear markets as rallies (declines) of 20% of more on a closing basis that were preceded by a 20%+ decline (rally). At 2,979 calendar days and counting, the current bull market ranks as the second longest of all time, ahead of the early to mid-1950s bull market by about a year but way behind the granddaddy of them all which spanned from 1987 through 2000.
In terms of strength, the current bull market ranks as the third strongest of all time. The table below lists all S&P 500 bull markets since 1928 sorted by strength. The only two that were stronger than the current one were the 1987 – 2000 run and the 1949 – 1956 rally. At current levels, though, the S&P 500 is right on the heels of the bull that ended in 1956. In fact, to move into second strongest of all time, the S&P 500 would have to rally just 3.4% to 2,483.44. A move into first place, however, is a bit more of a longshot. In order to move into the top spot, the S&P 500 would have to rally an additional 92% to 4,614 without a 20% decline in between. It’s a ways off, but we wonder if even that would be enough to move the AAII Bullish sentiment reading above 50%.