Years ago, economist Arthur Orkum created the “misery index,” a crude proxy for an economy based on the sum of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate.
Stock market guru Ed Yardeni took a look at if and how the U.S. misery index was correlated with bull and bear markets.
“In the past, bull markets in stocks tended to occur when the Misery Index was falling, or at least not rising,” wrote Yardeni. “The index is down from a cyclical peak of 11.8% during March 2010. Odds are it will remain around 8.5% through the end of next year. If so, then it suggests that the current bull market may last at least until then, if not longer.”
Yardeni’s misery index is based on the the core personal consumption expenditures deflator and the BLS’s unemployment rate. The shaded areas show where the S&P 500 went into bear markets, or fell by 20% or more.
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