NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The argument between bulls and bears on whether the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are justifiably soaring or a catastrophe on legs continues to rage.
Some believe they can clearly prove why the stunning performance of U.S. equities is no phenomenon. Others are equally adamant that a retracement is just around the corner. The only clear point, it seems, is that whoever is correct in this argument will be in good stead for the long run.
That activity on the U.S. markets is defying the odds is beyond debate. In a much-publicized milestone, the Dow Jones beat the 17000 mark last week, the crest of a peak never before seen. The S&P tells a similar story, getting closer than ever to touching 2000 after three successive months of impressive gains.
After the anticipated sell-off, those gains appear to have largely stuck: the Dow Jones is just under 17,000 at time of writing, and the S&P is hovering around the 1966 mark. Underpinning this is a market showing less activity than during the spikes of the previous two decades, with no tech or mortgage bubble to point to as the chief driver of growth. So what's causing the growth?
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