Today, the bull market entered into its fourth year, and during this time, the market has doubled since the lows of March 2009.
While the 2008 financial crisis has been a hard memory to fully shake off (and in fact, we’re still dealing with the fallout in Europe) there have been significant improvements made in the past three years and, as I mentioned last Monday, several key measures of the U.S. economy have gained substantial ground since 2009 as well.
Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is whether the bull market will continue. As for me, I just don’t see 2012 as being the year of the bear—especially considering how the market continues to "shrug off" bad news. For example, last Friday the U.S. trade deficit ballooned to a record high in January, and wholesale inventories increased less than expected but the major indices still closed up for the day. If we were actually headed toward the bear market, this type of news could have sent indices tumbling—but instead the market closed up for the day.
In this environment, equities are the place to be, and I fully expect 2012 to be another bull year.