Reminders of the late-1990s are appearing all over Wall Street these days, and not just the return of high-waisted jeans and designer-logo handbags.
The economic and financial-market conditions are drawing comparisons to the later years of the '90s, when good economic times and a technology boom culminated in a powerful bull market that went to stunning extremes before collapsing in early 2000.
No two historical moments match up perfectly, of course. But an array of features of, say, the 1997-to-1999 period are observable today: An unusually long economic expansion that began with tepid growth rates and stubbornly slow employment gains finally start to hum, reaching a phase of almost-monotonous strong performance and essentially full employment. Consumer, small-business and CEO confidence readings today are near the historic highs reached in the late-'90s.