The S&P 500 could take a run at a new all-time high in the week ahead, barring a nasty escalation in trade threats.
Stocks were mostly higher in the past week, and the S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to 2,840, just 32 points or 1.1 percent from its record set Jan. 26 at 2,872. The Dow was flat on the week, at 25,462 and is still 4.3 percent from its all-time high. The Nasdaq, which recently set a new high, was up nearly 1 percent at 7,812.
"When you are either at a millennial mark, or near a new all-time high, and you're within a percent, it starts acting like a tractor beam, and it sort of pulls the market up to it," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.
Stovall said the S&P is poised to make a new high, just days before the current bull market has a very good chance of becoming the longest one in the post World War II years. The longest run until nowwas 1990 to 2000.
"August 22 would be one day longer than the prior," Stovall said. The current bull market started after financial crisis-era bottoming on March 9, 2009.
Inflation reports are the top economic releases in the week ahead, with producer price inflation data Thursday and the more important consumer price index Friday. Headline CPI is expected to come in at 3 percent year over year, up from July's 2.9 percent.