Will the Macarena once again sweep the nation?
Maybe not, but some say it feels a lot like 1996 regardless.
Canaccord Genuity's chief equity strategist, Tony Dwyer, has the highest year-end S&P 500 target on the Street, at 2,185, but nonetheless expects a 5 to 10 percent correction in the near term. When asked what catalyst would drive that drop, he pointed to what happened at the end of 1996.
"Let me give you a scenario: we're up 34 percent in one year, the next year we're up about 14, 16 percent, and all of a sudden, people are looking for reasons for a correction," Dwyer said on Tuesday's "Futures Now." "Nobody was thinking it was going to be Alan Greenspan […] giving an irrational exuberance speech, and in real bull markets, it's the unknown unknowns that come in and cause a 5 to 10 percent correction. It's just when the market gets very tired and it gets extended, you don't know what's going to cause it, but it comes in, and I think that's what we're set up for."
In a speech on Dec. 5, 1996, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan used that memorable phrase in a rhetorical question: "How do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?"
The S&P 500, which was already down slightly over the past few sessions, continued to slide, eventually taking the market down 6 percent, from high to low, over the course of 11 sessions. But from there, the market continued on a long road higher that didn't end for good until the 2000 tech-bubble top.