The S&P 500 rallied Thursday to end the day in a bull market, marking a 20% surge since its most recent low, reached on October 12, 2022.
Buoyed by gains in big technology stocks, the broad-based index closed at 4,293.93 and crossed the threshold that separates a bear market from a bull market — that’s investor-speak for a period of time marked by rising stock prices and optimism on Wall Street.
Markets have remained surprisingly resilient over the past nine months, as 2022 losers like tech and media have bounced back from a disastrous year on hope that the worst is over for those industries.
Over the past week, markets have gained momentum, likely because of the end of the debt ceiling crisis, optimism that the Federal Reserve will pause rate hikes at its June meeting and a recent string of strong economic readings.
And while those are all positives for the economy, analysts fear that this could be a short-lived rally that ends up biting investors.
“We’re very late in the economic cycle that’s starting to slow and probably heading for a recession later this year,” Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, told CNN. “The key difference for us is that you tend to see bull markets coincide with economic expansions, not economic contractions.”
Still, since the last bull market, we’ve had a war in Europe, a banking crisis and a debt crisis among other dramas. Markets are in uncharted territory and while an economic recession coinciding with a Wall Street boom would be a first, “in this market, you never say never,” said Samana.