Stocks slightly higher after one-day sell-off

March 10 03:20 2016

On a day the Dow and Wall Street are celebrating the bull market’s seventh birthday, oil prices are rebounding and U.S. stocks were slightly higher after a down day Tuesday that snapped a five-session winning streak. The bullish trend that has been in place since the February 11 stock market bottom is hoping to continue today as investors latch on to recent data that has debunked the notion that the U.S. is headed for an imminent recession and lessened fears of aggressive interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve.1215-stock-market_full_600

In morning trading, the Dow was off earlier highs and was up about 10 points, or 0.1%, after skidding 110 points Tuesday to close at 16,964.10. The blue chip stock gauge kicks off the day down 2.7% for the year and 7.4% below its May 2015 closing record. The S&P 500 was up 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite was up less than 0.1%. U.S.-produced crude prices were bouncing back after losses Tuesday, with a barrel of oil rising 4% to $37.95.

Today marks a big milestone for Wall Street. The current bull market, which was born March 9, 2009, during the tail-end of the Great Recession, turns 7 today. The benchmark U.S. stock market, which closed Tuesday at 1979.26, notched its last record close of 2130.82 on May 21, 2015. At its bull market peak it was up 215%, driven in large part by central bank stimulus that propelled the economy out of recession and made stocks an attractive alternative to lower-yielding fixed-income securities.

The current S&P 500 bull market is the third-longest in history and is ranked No. 5 in performance. A  bull market is defined as a 20% rise from a low without a 20% drop, or  bear market, along the way. According to historians and Wall Street statisticians, the bull market, which kicks off its eighth year today, will have to make another record high for it to go down as a seven year bull. The reason. If the S&P 500 does suffer a 20% drop before hitting a fresh record, the end date for this bull will revert back to May 21, 2015, when it hit its highest close during the run.