I have to admit that I had not expected the tenth anniversary of this bull market to have come and gone without much fanfare. Yes, there was a celebration -- after all, the 10-year bull market is the longest since World War II, and the S&P 500 is up more than 300% -- but it wasn't as omnipresent as I had anticipated.
Instead, investors have been reveling in another, albeit related milestone -- the market recovery from the fourth-quarter 2018 selloff in the strongest three-month performance since the third quarter of 2009.
This strength has helped the market to recover much of the fourth-quarter losses and, as a result, post strong positive year-over-year returns.
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence
Nearly every corner of the market has turned a strong performance over the past year. The market, as represented by the S&P 500, is up 7.3% year-over-year -- helped, without a doubt, by the first-quarter rally. But even as every single market sector turned out a positive performance in the first quarter of 2019, some -- such as energy, materials and financials -- are still down compared with a year ago.
Let's look under the hood of one of the sectors to see which well-known stocks are powering the performance.
Many of you may be thinking I'm referring to the technology sector, since I'm the Chief Investment Strategist for Fast-Track Millionaire. After all, many of the stocks we feature naturally tend to come from this sector. But I'm not talking about technology this time. Instead, I invite you to get to know the newly named and arranged "communication services" sector.
The New High-Growth Sector You Need To Know
Up 4% year-over-year and nearly 14% in the latest quarter, this is no longer the home of just the high-yielding, slow-growing telecom stocks -- the likes of AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ).
The result was an expanded telecommunication services sector, including several companies from the consumer discretionary and information technology sectors.
If you think Alphabet, the parent company of Google (Nasdaq: GOOGL), is a technology company, you might be right. But it's not in the technology sector, not officially, at least. As of September 21, 2018, Google became a charter member of the "communication services" sector, right along with Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) and Twitter (Nasdaq: TWTR).
Technology-driven, these game-changing companies have had a profound impact not just on their businesses or sectors, but the entire economy. This is what we want from our portfolio holdings over at Fast-Track Millionaire, current and future -- a promise of lasting, high-growth, boundary-shattering impact. They may not all officially be classified as "technology" -- as long as they carry the promise of big-time returns to our portfolio, I will be perfectly fine with whatever they're called.
But for now, back to the future: does this overall rebound have legs? Is it still safe to dip your toe in the water?
In a word, yes. And we'll be ready to dive in as opportunities arise.
Action To Take
I believe that this market has further room to run. It didn't just rebound on a whim. Stocks have been propelled higher by expectations that the monetary authorities -- the U.S. Federal Reserve -- have ended the nearly four-year streak of interest-rate increases. And the markets are now considering the possibility that the Fed might even cut interest rates, if it comes to that, making money cheaper, savings and other low-risk investments (like bonds) relatively less attractive and stocks -- again -- an attractive proposition.
In such an environment, bad news can accidentally become good news again. The market might overlook an occasional lagging economic indicator or a profit warning from a bellwether company or two -- as long as those data readings don't fall too far off behind or the profit warnings are not too dire. And if they set the stage for a buying opportunity, so much the better.
Still, we'll need to be on guard -- especially with the market just a couple of percentage points off its all-time highs. Taking a strategic gain or two in such an environment could also be a good idea.