The stock market's long bull run got a new lease on life after December's wipeout and could now carry on for an 11th year, as long as an economic recession does not materialize.
March 6, 2009, was the day the S&P 500 plunged to its financial crisis intraday low of 666. Nearly 10 years later, it has regained 313 percent and is in the longest running bull market in history. The S&P set a closing low of 676 on March 9, so many strategists count that date as the start of the new current bull market.
"Age alone doesn't kill the bull. The conditions are definitely set up for a positive year, especially given last year's setback," said Julian Emanuel, chief equity and derivative strategist at BTIG.
The sell-off in December was fed by fears of a recession caused by an overly aggressive Fed raising interest rates too many times. But the Fed has since pivoted after raising rates in December. It now is making clear that it's willing to pause from raising rates and will monitor incoming economic data.
The S&P plunged 20 percent on an intraday basis, hitting its low on Dec. 26 before rebounding 18.8 percent. Emanuel describes that 20 percent drop as a technical bear market within a bull market, since it was an intraday decline and stocks bounced back quickly. A 20 percent decline is typically viewed as a bear market if it persists and the market actually closes at that level. (There's disagreement about whether the bull market ended on that day, but most Wall Street strategists calculate bull and bear markets based on closing levels only, not intraday.)