Saturday September 15th marked an ominous anniversary. Ten years ago, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, setting off a financial crisis that would be felt around the globe and lead the U.S. into the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Q2 earnings season is wrapping up, and S&P 500 profits rose a very impressive 24.9% versus one year ago (Thomson Reuters).
Companies also posted strong sales growth.
Last Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management reported its closely followed gauge that tracks manufacturing hit a 14-year high. Put another way, it is the best reading of the economic recovery, a recovery that began in late 2009 (NBER).
It’s been a long-running bull market. Born in the depths of the Great Recession, the current bull market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, has sidestepped a bear market since bottoming on March 9, 2009 at 676.53 (St. Louis Federal Reserve). A bear market is generally defined as a 20% drop or more. The widely followed index closed August 31 at 2,901.52 (WSJ).
On August 22, the current bull market extended its run to 3,453 calendar days (CNBC), taking the crown away from the previous champion, the run-up of the 1990s – see Figure 1. In some respects, it’s just a date. But it’s also a milestone.