The bull market is now nine years old, overcoming a plethora of challenges including debt crisis, government shutdown, the Middle East conflict, geopolitical tension, Greece turmoil, China’s soft landing issues, Japan’s recession, a global slowdown, Brexit, the oil price carnage, and Trump’s protectionist stance.
In fact, the S&P 500 index has risen nearly 302% from the bear-market bottom of 676.53 on Mar 9, 2009. This is the second largest bull-run in history after the 1990s rally that ended with the tech bubble burst in 2000. The rally came with five corrections (a decline of 10% or more); the last one witnessed in the beginning of February 2018. Cheap money flows and lower interest rates have been the biggest driver over the nine-year period.
Since Trump won the U.S. election in November 2016, the stock market has boomed like anything with the S&P 500 reaching a series of milestones – 2,200 in late November 2016, 2,300 in January 2017, 2,400 in May, 2,500 in September, 2,600 in November, 2,700 in early January 2018 and finally 2,800 in late January. Trump’s proposed pro-growth agenda aimed at accelerating economic growth, reducing regulation, increasing spending, slashing taxes, and boosting jobs and corporate profits has led to a steady record market.
Additionally, the United States emerged as a healthier economy dodging the financial crisis and the Great Recession, with GDP growth rising to 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017 from a contraction of 5.7% seen in March 2009. The unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1% currently from 10% in October 2009. Further, Americans have an optimistic view of the economy with confidence hitting the highest level in more than 17 years. Moreover, a combination of other factors like return to the earnings growth, jump in oil price, and the prospect of higher interest rates added to the strength.
While there have been winners in every corner of the space, several ETFs have easily crushed the market by wide margins. Below, we have presented a bunch of top-performing ETFs of the nine-year bull market that will continue to outperform in the coming months given that these have a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold).