United States bull market becomes longest in history

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

Wall Street is poised to mark the longest bull run in the New York Stock Exchange's 226-year history on Wednesday, after the S&P 500 index touched a record intraday high on Tuesday and equalled its longest bull run.

Bull and bear markets are identified only retroactively, and it is too soon to say for certain whether a correction in the S&P 500 in February marked the end of the bull market and the start of a bear market.

The S&P 500 index rose 17 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,874.

The prior record was held in the bull market that ran from October 1990 and ended with the popping of the tech bubble in March 2000.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 91 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,641.

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"Nature and markets both abhor a vacuum", Colas said.

Cramer said the 2011 S&P downgrade of USA government debt from AAA to AA+ was been one of the darkest moments in the bull market.

The S&P consumer discretionary index climbed 0.9 per cent as shares of off-price retailer TJX Companies Inc rose on strong results and Toll Brothers Inc's encouraging quarterly report boosted shares of homebuilders.

The current bull market began amid the emergency steps taken by the Federal Reserve, which set ultra-low interest rates and sought to spur investment further with billions of dollars in bond purchases in a program known as "quantitative easing". The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.2 percent higher at 7,582.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 107.37 points, or 0.42 percent, to 25,866.06, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 10.68 points, or 0.37 percent, to 2,867.73 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 45.29 points, or 0.58 percent, to 7,866.29.

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Williams-Sonoma jumped 10.5 percent after reporting results that beat estimates.

Online brokers Charles Schwab, E*Trade Financial and TD Ameritrade tumbled between 3.5 percent and 6.4 percent after CNBC reported JPMorgan planned to roll out a free digital brokerage service next week. The S&P 600 closed at 1,091.20 for a gain of 1.79 points or 0.16%.

The S&P 500 index fell 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,857.

However, most media outlets, including The Associated Press, agree with the S&P and Dow Jones Indices' conclusion that the current bull market is about to become the longest of all time.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.6 percent to finish at 22,362.55.

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