That darned Obama is the world's worst socialist!

Dow's 9-day winning streak makes history

Matt Krantz, USA TODAY9:08p.m. EDT March 13, 2013

Rarely does such a small gain accomplish so much.

Following a 5.22-point rise to 14,455.28 Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average stretched its winning streak to nine sessions, something that it last accomplished more than 16 years ago in November 1996, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Even more noteworthy is that it also represented the closely watched stock market measure's seventh record close in a row.

The action is making it hard for even bears to dismiss the power and longevity of the market's steady advance.

"This is rationality returning," says Doug Sandler of Riverfront Investment Group. "Most people have not participated. "
The market's rally is a head-turner because of the:

* Rarity of big streaks. The Dow has only risen nine or more straight days for 42 times in its 117-year history, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. While a rally making it to this point is noteworthy, longer consecutive rises are downright scarce. For instance, the Dow has 13 straight days only twice, and one of those was part of its single 14-session advance in June 1987.

* Strong performance after the last nine-day rally. Investors may think the market must be due for a fall after rising for nine days, but that didn't happen the last time. Following its run in November 1996, the Dow was up more than 19% a year later.

* Lack of signs of hysteria. Investors are hardly pouring into stocks and chasing prices higher or to ridiculous valuations. The trailing price-earnings ratio on stocks, based on the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index, is 16. That valuation is below the average 18.8 P-E since 1988. "Optimism is becoming fairly widespread, but it has not reached a level I would call speculative or euphoric," says Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors.

Yet, Johnson says that when rare streaks such as these occur, it might be a sign that markets are due for a pullback as investors get overly confident and complacent.