Exactly four years ago, amid almost universal pessimism, global equities embarked on a massive bull market which remains intact to this day. US equities have been flirting with all-time highs and many other global markets are near to their 2000 and 2007 peaks. Investors are naturally very focused on whether equities, having failed twice before to break above current levels, can finally overcome vertigo and sustain a bull run into unprecedented territory. After all, it is now 13 years since US equities first touched these levels, and US corporate profits have approximately doubled since then.
The market mood is optimistic. For example, Andrew Parlin of Kotell Advisors, a man who exactly called the bottom four years ago, remains bullish in this recent article. But sceptics argue that the rise in equities is just another example of the successive financial market bubbles which have been created in the past two decades. As each bubble has burst, the central banks have set about creating another, larger bubble, the latest of which, sceptics claim, is based entirely on quantitative easing, and not on the fundamental soundness of the underlying economy.
If this proves to be the case, then equities could be tracing out a massive triple top formation, which will ultimately be followed by a major crash. Which is it to be: a move into uncharted territory, or a triple top?