When you peruse the charts, you see bull market after bull market, almost too many to count.
But why not give you the top 10, the top 10 as suggested by the charts, which can't lie because the cohorts are chockablock with 52-week-highs.
Let's start with the obvious one. Bull market number one, perhaps of all time: the financials. Sure, we know the banks, and it's Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) and JP Morgan (JPM - Get Report) as leaders, with many regionals -- banks like PNC Financial Services (PNC - Get Report) and KeyCorp (KEY - Get Report) and BB&T (BBT - Get Report) and First Horizon (FHN - Get Report) -- just inching ever higher after their dramatic run post-election.
Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) and Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report) have two stocks that are and have been so strong that try as I have wanted to add these stocks to the bullpen of what we are contemplating for buys for the charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS, I just can't. They've run and run and run, and you can't help but feel you have missed the move. Then again, if the bull market is early -- something hard to believe frankly, but this market does have a lot of charm -- then we would decisively be paying too little for these leaders of the pack.
Then there's the credit cards, MasterCard (MA - Get Report) and Visa (V - Get Report) charging higher with American Express (AXP - Get Report) , Capital One (COF - Get Report) and Discover Financial (DFS - Get Report) acting so well that you pray for a dip.
Best of all are the most unheralded, simply because they are so boring and homogenous: the insurers like Travelers (TRV - Get Report) , Chubb (CB - Get Report) , Allstate (ALL - Get Report) and Prudential (PRU - Get Report) . You can understand why AIG CEO Peter Hancock could be feeling the heat from his board. AIG's the only insurer whose chart's a bad one.
Next bull: The multinationals. You can see the endless re-rating of 3M (MMM - Get Report) , Honeywell (HON - Get Report) , United Technologies (UTX - Get Report) , Parker Hannifin (PH - Get Report) , Paccar (PCAR - Get Report) , Eaton (ETN - Get Report) , Cummins (CMI - Get Report) almost in a straight line. These companies are looking like worldwide GNP growth plays, because they all benefit from Asia and Europe disproportionately. I am paying particularly close attention to the growth in Class 8 Trucks, they've been strong for four months and produce a huge amount of jobs and profits. Many of the stocks in this group have exposure to that market.
Third bull? The unleashing of health care. Every single portion of this sector is raging: health insurers like Humana (HUM - Get Report) and UnitedHealth (UNH - Get Report) and Anthem (ANTM - Get Report) , medical device companies like Becton (BDX - Get Report) and Bard (BCR) and Hologic (HOLX - Get Report) and Stryker (SYK - Get Report) , or the remarkable HCA (HCA - Get Report) and the redoubtable Abbott (ABT - Get Report) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report) , Merck (MRK - Get Report) , Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) and perhaps most grandiose, Eli Lilly (LLY - Get Report) . I don't think I can recall a group that has moved up week after week like this one. It's screaming to get on board. The real standout? An old growth diva, Intuitive Surgical (ISRG - Get Report) , which is acting like it just started its run.
Then there's aerospace and defense. This fourth bull market is led by Boeing (BA - Get Report) , but is buoyed by Raytheon (RTN - Get Report) , General Dynamics (GD - Get Report) and Lockheed Martin (LMT - Get Report) . The strength here is extraordinary and lasting. Anything that resembles a defense stock has a tailwind here.
The fifth bull market? Semiconductor and semiconductor equipment. We had thought that those suppliers to Apple (AAPL - Get Report) were doomed to roll over. But with Apple hitting new highs, it's raising the roof on Skyworks Solutions (SWKS - Get Report) , Broadcom (AVGO - Get Report) , Texas Instruments (TXN - Get Report) and Qorvo (QRVO - Get Report) , the latter rallying even as it preannounced to the downside. I know that KLA-Tencor (KLAC - Get Report) and Lam Research (LRCX - Get Report) seem like they have had giant runs, but their price-to-earnings multiples are still well below the average stock in the marketplace.
To be continued....