The market’s magic number

Sean BowerNo matter how many computers and algorithms are used on Wall Street, the stock market is still given life by people.

Humans, along with all of our emotions and weird tendencies, are the ones pumping blood through the heart of it all.

That fact mixed with a certain magic number are why Friday was possibly one of the most important trading days of 2015 so far. Here’s what the market’s magic number is, what you and I have to do with it, and what to expect next…

If the stock market were only run by huge supercomputers and formulas, 2,117.39 would be just another number, right?

To a computer, there’s no such thing as coincidence, gut feeling, or any of the “human” aspects of life like that.

But to you and I, 2,117.39 was the market’s magic number since the end of February. That is, until Friday.

That’s because the number 2,117.39 was the all-time high for the S&P 500 (SPX), a representation of the overall market, and it hadn’t been overtaof Friken despite some upswings in the market that perhaps should have reached up to that mark.

In any case, there is now a new all-time high for the SPX, and that could have a lasting impact through 2015.

You see, a bull market takes steps on its ascent. It doesn’t ride the elevator straight up because that sort of movement would be unsustainable. But by the same token, an elongated period of relatively parallel movement would put the bull market in peril as well.

It has to keep moving forward to keep its momentum up, but it can’t sprint ahead without stalling out.

Recently, the market has been closer to losing its momentum, which was evident to those of us who keep track of the short-term and long-term standing of the market.

With so many market upswings failing to overtake the recent market high (an uncharacteristic trait of a bull market), each passing day felt like we may have already reached the last peak of this bull market.

But as of Friday, a new market high has breathed life into the bull. A computer wouldn’t process that as anything but a new close for the market, but humans like you and I perceive it as another step up.

And as long as the bull is stepping up, it’s still alive.

For now, Friday’s milestone means that the market has bought itself at least a little bit more time to remain a bull. Now we’ll just have to see how big this step is, and then how long we’ll have to wait for a new step.

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