The S&P 500 is having its best run in six years,¹ and the US economy is in a 10-year expansion, leaving some to worry that the decade-long bull market is near an end. While we understand the concern, there are a few reasons why we believe it could keep rolling into 2020.
- Money has flowed out of risky assets in 2019 despite strong equity returns. Investors have pulled $135.5 billion from US stock-focused mutual and exchange-traded funds as of December 8th, 2019 (Wursthorn). Much of this has moved into bonds and money-market funds, areas often seen as a haven from volatility.
- The so-called “wall of worry” that a bull market is said to climb is standing pretty tall. If investor sentiment turns more optimistic, say from progress on a US-China trade deal or from strong fourth-quarter earnings, investors could move some of that cash back into stocks, pushing prices up further.
- Valuations for most major equity indexes are reasonable when compared to long term averages.
While we can’t say what the market will do from month to month or year to year, these factors, combined with a strong US consumer, suggest the bull market may still have legs to stand on.
Team Hewins, LLC (“Team Hewins”) is an SEC-registered investment adviser; however, such registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training, and no inference to the contrary should be made. We provide this information with the understanding that we are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or tax services. We recommend that all investors seek out the services of competent professionals in any of the aforementioned areas.
¹ Michael Wursthorn, “Investors Bail on Stock Market Rally, Fleeing Funds at Record Pace”, Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2019. https://www.wsj.com/articles/investors-bail-on-stock-market-rally-fleeing-funds-at-record-pace-11575801002?