Prepare for more record highs over the next few years, says one Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategist, who says a similar trend in history suggests that this bull market is far from over.
"We actually think the Dow will surpass 20,000 and go much, much higher than that," said Stephen Suttmeier, his firm's chief equity technical strategist. "We do believe that we are in a secular bull trend [that was] signaled on the April 2013 breakout in the S&P 500."
The Dow came within 13 points of 20,000 Tuesday before retreating and closing roughly 30 points below the milestone. The index is now on pace for its best year since 2013, and the S&P 500 is tracking for its best year since 2014.
Suttmeier points out that much like today, rising bond yields also corresponded to a surge in equities in the 1950s. By the time bond yields moved to 5 or 6 percent in the 1960s, the S&P 500 had rallied about 460 percent over the decade or so.
"That bull run into the mid-1960s was actually an S&P secular bull trend that was associated with a low and rising interest rate environment," Suttmeier said. "That is how we're set up right here. "
In other words, Suttmeier believes that "there is at least a decade or more to run here on the S&P 500 and other U.S. equity averages."
The strategist expects that the current secular bull trend could launch the S&P 500 to between 2,330 and 2,425 next year. It closed at 2,270.76 on Tuesday.