Tuesday, September 23, 2014

a fun fact

Nine months ago it seemed a prediction that was bold and unimaginative all at once: That the Standard & Poor’s 500 index would claim for itself the theatrical moment of reaching the 2,014 level in the year 2014. Now this unyielding bull market, after a few nervous stutter steps, has made it happen.

The S&P 500 touched this level Friday morning. It got there on the day the instant megacap Alibaba Group (BABA) debuted in a culmination of the easy-money, China-emergence and e-commerce market themes, and in the week when investors were, yet again, reassured for the moment that the Federal Reserve remains inclined to move slow in sunsetting its easy-money policies.

The 2,014 level was a cutesy year-end 2014 target set in December by a couple of Wall Street strategists, representing a respectable 9% gain after last year’s 30% surge. Yet, mostly by coincidence, the 2,014 level also sits at a threshold of some consequence, representing exactly a 50% gain from the point in late 2012 when the stock market embarked upon its “liftoff phase.”

While we’re talking index-and-year number quirks, Doug Ramsey points out that the last time a major index climbed across a level that was also the year number was when the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 1987 in January of 1987. It would, of course, crash through the level that October.

This is just a fun fact and not meant as a foreboding prediction that an ’87-like collapse is ahead.

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