There’s a debate over whether the current bull market will become the longest ever on August 22. The debate hinges over nuances and opinions. The problem is there isn’t a clear, accepted definition of a bear market. Those who say a bear market doesn’t begin until there’s been a 20% decline say this is the longest bull market. Others say that’s wrong, as this article explains.
In reality bull and bear markets are more nuanced than an arbitrary level like 20%. Why 20%? Why not 18% or 17.5%? Perhaps it has something to do with classic usury or loan shark rates charging a fifth or 20% of the principal dollar amount lent. Or maybe folks just like big round numbers.
Even if we allow for this arbitrary 20% definition, as our esteemed colleague Sam Stovall at CFRA said in his Monday missive, “It can’t be called the longest bull until it sets a new all-time high on or after 8/22.” But the dude does not abide. We have long relied on the more accurate and widely accepted Ned Davis Research definition…