World Economy

S&P 500 Surges for Fourth Week

S&P 500 Surges for Fourth WeekS&P 500 Surges for Fourth Week

Waiting for an entry point in the stock market just isn’t working. The latest proof: amid the best start to a year ever measured in global equities, the S&P 500 has now spent longer trading within 5% of its all time high than ever before.

Add it to the list of superlatives piling up in a market that has now done in a month what Wall Street thought would take a year. Rising 2.2% over the last five days, the benchmark sits at 2,872.87—higher than the average target of strategists tracked by Bloomberg as recently as December.

Twenty-six days in and equities have yet to notch a down week. They’ve risen more than 7% and posted more up sessions—14—than any January since 1989. At these levels, stocks are nearing the most overbought point ever, making it hard for even the most bullish analysts to keep up.

For the week, the S&P 500 rose 63 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 545 to 26,616.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 2.3% to 7,505.77, bringing its year-to-date advance to 8.7%. The MSCI All-Country World Index increased 2.1% to 550.32, extending its 2018 gain to 7.3% to leave it on track for its largest January rally ever.

For money managers, finding a reason to sell is getting harder, especially when a strategy that simply buys shares that are already rising the fastest is doing better than any time in eight years.

“The herd is running into the market at the moment, and that’s giving the market some additional legs,” said Matt Schreiber, president and chief investment strategist at WBI Investments. “People are in tune with the fact risk could be around the corner. But at the same time, too, they’re still moving money into equities.”

The S&P 500 rose 2.2% in the five days through Friday. After 18 trading sessions, the gauge now sits 1.2% above the 2,838 year-end average estimate made by 17 Wall Street analysts at the end of 2017.

One indicator after another shows the rally’s strength. The S&P 500 has traded within 5% of its record high for 399 days, data by Charlie Bilello, director of research at Pension Partners LLC, show. On Monday the streak broke the previous record of 394 days of the S&P 500 trading within 5% of an-all time high, which happened between December 1994 and July 1996.

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