For the past four years, a chorus of doomsayers have been dismissing the stock market's rise as a "sucker's rally" -- a temporary head fake in the middle of a long bear market.
This year, however, those voices have gone quiet, and everyone has begun to embrace the idea that we're in a new roaring bull market. All of the major indices are up more than 10% for the year, and the Nasdaq is up almost 20%.
Stocks have stopped charging higher and are now stumbling. Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 100 points and hit a 2-month low. As ever, the verdict on this state of affairs is split. Some analysts think the recent weakness is the start of a new crash. (Fund manager John Hussman, for example, thinks that stocks could drop 40%-50% from the peak). Others, however, think the stumble is just a "dip" that wise investors should view as a buying opportunity.
The chief U.S. equity strategist at Citi, Tobias Levkovich, is in the "dip" camp.
Levkovich thinks that, near-term, the weakness could continue. Investors have gotten so bullish in recent days, he says, that the market still has some euphoria and froth to burn off.
But longer term, Levkovich argues, we're still firmly in a new bull market.
By this time next year, Levkovich predicts, the S&P will hit 1825, a full 10% above today's levels.
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