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These Statistics Show that the S&P 500 Has Legs

The bull market, dating back to 2009, has seen the S&P 500 rise to new all time highs multiple times of late. Still, investors haven’t taken an all-in attitude and that may be the best news for the rally going forward. Bloomberg and Business Insider took a look at the current bull market and found some interesting facts.

The Annual Gains are Impressive

Since the bull market began in 2009, the S&P 500 has seen average gains of 26.2 percent each year when dividends are added to the totals. Bloomberg reports that this is identical to the last 50 days of the bull market of the 1990s. (You might remember–it was the days when investors were paying crazy multiples for companies that didn’t sell anything.)

Double Digit Gains in 2013

The market has spent the past few trading sessions looking a little tired but technically, it has spent these sleepy trading sessions unwinding from overbought conditions. Even if there were no apparent explanation, the S&P 500 has gained 15 percent in 2013. Numbers like these would make investors happy if they were an entire year’s gain–or even two years.

Lower Overall Multiple

There’s a debate among investors arguing whether or not stocks are still a buy at these levels. Currently, the S&P sits at 18.6 times annual profits. This is much lower than the 1990s tech-bubble multiple of 25.7.

What’s the significance? Bears believe that the low multiple shows that investors have no confidence in the market. Bulls say that because traders are bidding the market up to irrational levels, the uptrend is far from over.

More Than Five Months Without a Major Pullback

176 days to be exact. 176 days since the market has seen a pullback of 5 percent or more, according to Business Insider. This ties a 2010 record but what’s the significance?

Investors know that in a bull market, stocks can continue higher for long periods of time without taking time to correct. Bear markets do the same thing. Trying to time these pullbacks or oversold bounces is a fool’s game. Manage your risk and don’t go for the big score. There’s plenty of money to be made even if you don’t catch the absolute top of bottom.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long numerous S&P 500 stocks.

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