Sure, Dow 17,000 (^DJI) gets all the headlines but the stock market big boys take their cues from the S&P 500 (^GSPC). While the Dow has ticked up to its new highs, so to has the S&P 500, up close to 8% so far this year and sitting near new highs of it's own.
The second quarter "was the sixth consecutive quarterly gain for the S&P 500," notes Jonathan Krinsky of MKM Partners. "In the last 50 years we've only seen six or more quarterly gains one other time - that was the '95-'98 period which went 14 quarters in a row. So we're very stretched in the last 50 years but its not unprecedented territory to continue to see some further gains."
With the odds perhaps stacked against it, Krinsky says there's little to stop the S&P from testing it's own big round number: 2,000. "Yes we're extended, we've gone a year and a half without testing the 200-day [moving average] but until we see some type of sell signal or a major reversal day it's hard to really call this top in the market," Krinsky says.
Another tell suggesting we have higher to go is the lack of volatility. "In the last two weeks we've seen three of the narrowest ten trading ranges for the S&P 500 on an intraday basis for the last 30 years," Krinsky argues. "While contrarians might say low volatility [is] bearish, typically ahead of major market tops, you're gonna see volatility increase...So if we see some chopiness, some rallies that fail and you see the trading range start to increase, that would be more of a signal that potentially we're getting towards a top."
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