The Dow Jones industrial average set a record high this month. So what does history reveal about how much longer it may continue to rise?
After breaking a record in 1991, the Dow continued to rise for nearly nine years. But after breaking a record in 1972, it topped out just two months later. In most cases, the blue chips stopped advancing because fears of a recession were mounting as inflation and interest rates rose. Those conditions don't exist today.
Although some effects of the financial crisis linger, the recession has technically been over for nearly four years. Unemployment is still high, but falling. Inflation is still low.
The Dow record doesn't necessarily mean that investors believe the economy is fully healed. Rather, they're confident that the Fed is willing to keep providing stimulus. Investors have learned to tune out budget fights in Washington.
There's no way to predict how long this bull run, which began March 9, 2009, could continue. But so far, there's no evidence of the telltale signs that it's about to come to an end.Associated Press