Exactly a decade ago, it was time for investors to start worrying, even as stocks sat at record highs and the signs of onrushing danger were far from obvious.
In July 2007, the U.S. stock market was just emerging from a prolonged stretch of unusual calm — the S&P 500 was clicking to a new high before buckling for a 9 percent loss over the next month as cracks emerged in the housing and credit markets.
That, as it turned out, was a warning tremor, as stocks recovered to make a slight fresh high that October, before the full force of the housing bust, Great Recession and financial crisis would wipe out half the market's value over the next 18 months.
There's no essential significance to the 10th anniversary of the start of the last bull market's topping process, of course. Still it presents a decent excuse to compare current conditions with those that prevailed in the summer of 2007.
S&P 500, 10 years
The good news: While there are some parallels between July 2007 and 2017 — elevated equity valuations, a mature economic expansion, high corporate debt levels and broad expectations of improving earnings in the year to come — the crucial factors that presaged the '07 market peak are not present.