The month of March marks a couple of key milestones in recent investor lore. On March 9th 2000, the NASDAQ broke through 5000 and peaked one day later at 5048 (the only two days the index closed above that mark). Fifteen years later, the index is once again poised to break through the momentous level as it rests at 4976 at the time of this writing. March 9th also marks the sixth anniversary of the current (U.S.) bull market which has taken the S&P 500 index from a then low of 676 to a late February high near 2115—a gain of over 1440 points! The nearly 230% gain has led most major global indices and vaulted the S&P 500 back into the spotlight as the world’s darling, fulfilling our 2011 SEIA Report hypothesis that “the time will soon be upon us when stocks again regain their status as king of the investment choices.” While the media will focus on the NASDAQ and compare and contrast 2015 with 2000, we believe that it is more prudent to analyse the S&P 500 and compare today with the economic landscape of just a few years back. Our conclusion? The biggest gains from U.S. stocks may be behind us as the world’s thoroughbred rounds the last turn in this business cycle.
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