"Can the stock market recovery go on much longer?" by: John Sample

   Another week and another birthday. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse after last week’s pullback in the equities market. 
   It was about time since we had gone up weekly for two months. Much like a birthday coming around each year. You used to get excited about celebrating and presents and now you are glad to be alive at my age. 
   With the markets rising weekly, you begin to worry when all the fun will end. Last week was no real indication of any great economic change, but just a step back. Markets don’t just climb up forever or drop relentlessly. We do dwell on the downside more than the rise. 
   We came up to 2800 on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock-index and took a breath. The air apparently was getting a bit thin at that altitude. 
   Movements up are almost always in a stair-step fashion. Pauses are taken for those to take profits and reflect on where we have come from. It is a good time to evaluate our situation.
   That is what is so unusual about the move up in the equities markets since 2008. Most moves up don’t last over 10 years. 
   The first thought would be that it is time for a recession and significant move down. 
   I would not say that it is different this time solely due to my superstitions about never uttering that statement. I would say though that we are operating in a rather unique environment. 
   We climbed back with interest rates remaining lower and for a much longer period of time. 
   Our growth in the recovery has been rather sluggish but consistent. Maybe we have entered a place where it will just take longer to get where we are going. 
   As such, all the voiced concerns about the recovery lasting far too long may not have factored in these unique variables. 
   Moreover, the U.S. economy is still moving forward with the lowest unemployment and wage gains, while the GDP has languished. 
   However, our slow growth is significantly better than almost any country, but China and they are slowing down. We are possibly at a point where not-great is good enough for now.
   I am not saying that it is time to jump into the stock market with all your savings, as there is little value to be found. 
   The multiples are not outrageous and through company buybacks, the dividend yield is holding just above 30-year Treasuries. 
   All I am trying to get to is that this recovery, though long in the tooth, may have more miles left on the tread. One just has to keep their eyes on the road as hazards lie in wait. 
   Look at Boeing this week. The company has about run the competition off the road only to have two of its planes crash in separate commercial flights in two different countries. 
   Shows you that nothing can be taken for granted. I won’t be selling my shares but it certainly has my attention. Just like all the other factors such as tariffs and fluctuating commodity prices must be continuously evaluated. If this is too much for you, then save more than you spend and take the interest and run. 
   I will stick with the stock market like I have for 50 plus years.

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