Moreover, if we look at stocks in the small-cap segment via the iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM), we can see that this area of the market is well below its October highs.
So, are we going to see a year-end rally in stocks?
I suspect we could; however, I also think we may see a lot of profit taking in the coming weeks. Profit taking after the year we've had is to be expected, so don't be surprised if you see stocks get really volatile as we head into the final month of this remarkable year.
The possibility for a less-than-robust, year-end rally means you must have an exit strategy in place that protects your gains and allows you to weather any kind of year-end storm.
Keep in mind that nearly every investor who held on and rode out the 2008-2009 bear has likely seen his or her portfolio recover sizably since this rally began in earnest back in March. I don't want anything to happen to that recovered money, and the only way to protect those gains is to have a plan in place that gets you out of the market with your profits intact.
My Successful Investing advisory service has just such a plan firmly in place, so if you are looking for a way to protect your 2009 bull market gains, then I invite you to check it out.