Jul 26, 2023 - Economy

Stock market rally puts '22 peak within reach

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Don't look now, but the stock market is within spitting distance of a new record high, after a rip-roaring rally that's pushed the S&P 500 up 19% this year.

State of play: As of the close of trading Tuesday, it's less than 5% from eclipsing its last high-water mark, which it reached on Jan. 3, 2022.

Why it matters: Stock market folkways dictate that you can only be sure that you're in the midst of a new bull market once the market has hit a new high.

  • A new peak would empower those proclaiming that bulls are indeed running the show on Wall Street.
  • With stocks up 28% from their bear market low last October, it seems a reasonable assumption.

What we're watching: The Fed, of course. One thing that could quell the bullish vibes would be comments from Fed chair Jerome H. Powell at his press conference Wednesday suggesting he's unsatisfied with inflation progress and prepared to inflict a few more rate hikes.

The bottom line: But with employment strong, consumer sentiment improving and inflation abating, fluffy cushions abound for the now widely expected soft-landing, giving market bulls plenty of reason to snort.

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