The stock market has experienced significant growth this year, leaving investors optimistic about the potential for continued gains. However, the key to determining the longevity of this bull market lies in whether the S&P 500 can successfully surpass a critical level it has struggled to breach.

Economic Growth and Market Boosters

Up until now, the index has witnessed a 12% increase, fueled by the belief that while there may be short-term setbacks in economic growth, stability will soon prevail. One compelling factor is that the Federal Reserve is approaching the end of interest rate hikes, an effort to curb inflation rates. This move is projected to have a positive impact on overall economic growth. Moreover, major tech companies, which have played a pivotal role in driving the market this year, will experience additional growth as they leverage artificial intelligence to expand their product offerings.

Overcoming Obstacles

Despite these promising prospects, several obstacles stand in the way of market success. Currently, the S&P 500 hovers just below the crucial 4300 level, a decline from its peak of 4607 reached in July. The primary reason for this slump is the Federal Reserve's confirmation of its intention to maintain higher interest rates for longer than anticipated by the market. As a result, the economy and corporate profits are expected to take more time to regain momentum.

In conclusion, the potential for a long-term bull market remains contingent on the S&P 500's ability to break through key resistance levels. While obstacles persist, investors and market observers will closely monitor developments in hopes of sustained growth and profitability.

The S&P 500's Hopes for Long-Term Gains

To justify hopes of longer-term gains, the S&P 500 needs to break above the July peak. However, past failures to move higher have revealed a lack of buyers at that level, indicating a lack of confidence in the economy and profit outlook.

Doubts Lead to Downside

The recent dip of the S&P 500 below 4300 on Tuesday has raised even more doubts. While buyers rushed in to send the index upward at the same level earlier this year, they have not shown up in the same way this time around.

Bulls Need a Breakthrough

According to Walter Zimmerman, Chief Technical Strategist at ICAP, "the bulls need a sustained advance that results in a decisive break out above 4607." Until that breakthrough occurs, it is uncertain whether a new bull market has truly begun.

Flatlining Signs of Positivity

Even if the market flatlines for a while after the harsh declines of the past couple of months, it could still be seen as a positive sign that buyers are starting to come in. Perhaps a gain above 4607 could follow soon enough, but until it actually happens, no one can confidently declare the start of a new bull market.

Market Remains in Limbo

For now, the market remains in limbo, eagerly awaiting the development of key events and breakthroughs.

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