The financial press in the US has been abuzz with the news that the S&P 500 index, regarded as the country’s most reliable stock market bellwether, is in unchartered territory. At close of trading last night, stocks had been in a bull market for a record 3,452 days. This is if you accept the common wisdom that a bear market occurs when stocks drop by 20% from their highs. The record was accomplished in cruise mode with the S&P flirting with its all-time highest close, suggesting that there was still fuel in the tank to power up the markets for a while yet. To understand how long the bulls have been running, recall that a fresh, young Barack Obama was in the third month of his first term as president when the markets turned on March 2009 at the height —or should that be depths? — of the global crisis. There are, of course, lessons to be learned from this market performance. The first is that the US economy, which was on the brink of financial disaster, was rescued by decisive interve...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now