In two months, the stock market’s recovery from the financial crisis will reach nine years, according to a recent CNBC article. “To be aggressively optimistic on this stock market now is to bet that it can challenge the greatest bull market of all time—the 13-year run that ended in early 2000.”
Elevated valuations are also showing that U.S. stocks are more richly valued than in any period except the late 1990’s, the article says, and investors equity holdings are reflective of their optimism. “There remains a stubborn narrative that the little guy has boycotted this bull market, but it likely relies too much on traditional mutual-fund flow stats and doesn’t recognize that individuals have let stock allocations stretch higher with share prices.”
The popular view among industry professionals, the article says, is that while the market is expensive and the mood is getting “giddy,” the expectation is for an “even more intense public-participation phase to carry equities higher before there’s any reckoning.”
In the short term, the article says, sentiment signals are indicating investor caution and the market has yet to enter the realm of overconfidence or “silly economic distortions.” It adds that the new corporate tax cut legislation will fuel bullishness and support stretched valuations.
“We’ve scaled the wall of worry,” the article concludes, “and everyone likes the view.”