The bears might be having a field day raiding bitcoin and ripple speculators, but luckily for investors that voracious profit-taking hasn't extended to stocks in 2018.
And judging by one Wall Street investment bank, a market downdraft isn't in the offing for some time.
Stocks ripped higher on Friday, with the three major equity indexes finishing at records. Spurring sentiment were big financial names like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) - Get Report and Blackrock (BLK) - Get Report blowing away analyst profit forecasts for the fourth quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 228 points, or 0.89%. The S&P 500 rose 0.67% and the Nasdaq gained 0.68%.
On the other hand, bitcoin continues to suffer through a shift in sentiment that started in mid-December. Bitcoin prices have crashed about 30% since hitting an all-time high of $19,343 on Dec. 16.
TheStreet thinks the continued strong appetite to own stocks is perfectly captured in a new note from equities strategists at Jefferies. Conversely, it may also reflect the type of under-appreciation of risk factors such as rising interest rates that could derail stocks in 2018.
"Warning light way down the road: At last weekend's Jefferies Senior Leadership Offsite, feelings of angst around global markets were basically nonexistent. Previously we would have nonstop discussions around European elections, Chinese devaluations, taper tantrums, but this year, people seemed more focused on the length of my beard rather than on what could go wrong in markets. I don't have a much different view on the world than those sanguine attendees. I think we may have a few more years to go before the warning light goes from yellow to red, and I continue to recommend spoos and blues, especially as blues help investors weather any unforeseen storm, but I understand why some folks with a lust for risk would just want to "gun it full throttle" through this yellow light toward the next business cycle peak."
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