Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive starts. DiMaggio’s 56 straight games with a hit. Those streaks pale in comparison to what’s happening in the market right now.
That’s because the S&P has gone 468 days since experiencing a correction of 10 percent or more. That’s the fourth longest streak on record, according to Newedge.
Still not impressed? How about this: The S&P hasn’t closed below its 200-day moving average in over 18 months. Waiting for the correction has become an absurdist activity, the financial equivalent of “Waiting for Godot.”
“We’ve been above trend for far too long. It’s been four years since we’ve had a close below the 150-day moving average. We have to go back to 2003 – 2007 to find a similar run,” said Rich Ross of Auerbach Grayson. “The stage is set for a serious 10 percent correction. Maybe even 20 percent”
Of course, identifying the catalyst for said correction has been a near impossible task for most market participants. But some are starting to point to the composition of the recent leg of the run as a warning sign.
(Watch: Gartman: Correction coming)
“We’ve had a defensive rally all year long,” said Chantico Global’s Gina Sanchez. “Defensive stocks continue to be the better bets, and the rotation continues into value. I don’t know what will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but the pace of earnings can’t continue to be stronger than the pace of the economic recovery.”
Still, just because history or logic says something should happen doesn’t mean it will. And to some investors, there could be a simpler explanation for this decade’s unstoppable rally.
(Read: Cramer: Critical sign coming for momentum stocks)
“As more portfolios become passive in nature, less attention is paid to the daily ups and downs for the news cycle for a given asset class. Suppression of volatility is a symptom of this,” wrote Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management. “People who attribute this purely to the Fed probably have it half wrong.”
According to Brown, assets under fee-based accounts have swelled to $1.3 trillion in 2013 from $200 billion in 2005. Most of this money is not being actively managed and is being put to work in a methodical, passive fashion each month. This provides a constant bid to the market as wealth managers become less incentivized to jump in and out of stocks and more rewarded to buy, and buy more.
“This means a bias toward buying equities every day and almost never selling,” wrote Brown. “It means adding to stocks sheepishly on up days and voraciously on the (rarely occurring) down ones.”