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The Bull Market Is Long in the Tooth: Yamada


Since the lows of March, 2009 the stock market has bent, wilted, slumped and corrected, but it's never broken. Whether through timely intervention by the Fed, corporate expense fudging or simply by virtue of the U.S. stock market being the best of a lousy list of global investment choices, stocks have figured out a way to inch higher regardless of the environment.

"The average bull market advance is 34 months; this is running 41," says famed chartist Louise Yamada, managing director at LYA in the attached clip. "It's long in the tooth but we've been saying that for quite some time."

Yamada says the bears have every reason to be frustrated by the tape's resilience. The Dow Jones Transports (^DJT) aren't moving higher with the industrials, volume is weak, breadth is lousy, and stocks are at the top of a short-term channel, refusing to even move lower for a 2% trade.

Against all that Yamada, offers a timeless piece of advice for the bears: "You never short an uptrend, and you're in an uptrend."

The trend is reliant on the economy staying balanced on a tightrope. A drop into inflation would cause stocks and bonds to plunge in value, even if they held up in nominal terms. Yamada compares such an outcome to the period from 1966 and 1982 when stocks were flat on paper but lost over 70% of their value against inflation.

A slip into deflation would be something like what happened to markets during the collapse in 2008. Stocks plunge, bonds do well, and Central Banks jam money into the system as fast as the presses can print.

If the economy can stay on the wire, stocks and bonds can perform well together. That's where we are now, Yamada argues. Until that changes, growth stocks will work best for those who can handle the swaying.