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Stocks Hit New Highs. Now What?

It could be a great time to buy stocks. Here’s why.

Investors celebrated last Friday as the S&P 500 notched its first record-high close in over two years—and then cheered again as the index kept its winning streak going into this week.

All of this has come on the heels of the S&P 500’s 29.2% return last year (versus an interest rate on cash-equivalent assets of around 5.5% or less throughout 2023).

These new highs have also left some investors wondering what to do next. Those who underweighted stocks in recent months may worry that they’ve missed the rally and should continue to shun equities, while stock market bulls may view the run-up as an opportunity to take profits off the table.

But both of those moves—avoiding or selling stocks—could potentially prove costly. The reason: Over the past 35 years, buying stocks when the market hits a new high has worked out better on average for investors than buying on any day (see chart below).

The future can’t be predicted with certainty, of course. But if Shakespeare was right and “what’s past is prologue,” stocks may be ready to accelerate further—especially when you consider that investors currently hold around $6 trillion in cash. Even a moderate percentage of that money going to stocks could help push the market higher.

The upshot: New highs don’t necessarily indicate that stocks have peaked and are due for a fall— an idea that investors with money “sitting on the sidelines” might want to remember this week.


This commentary is written by Horizon Investments’ asset management team.  Past performance is not indicative of future results. Nothing contained herein should be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. This report does not attempt to examine all the facts and circumstances that may be relevant to any company, industry, or security mentioned herein. We are not soliciting any action based on this document. It is for the general information of clients of Horizon Investments, LLC (“Horizon”). This document does not constitute a personal recommendation or take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations, or needs of individual clients. Before acting on any analysis, advice, or recommendation in this document, clients should consider whether the security in question is suitable for their particular circumstances and, if necessary, seek professional advice. Investors may realize losses on any investments. Asset allocation cannot eliminate the risk of fluctuating prices and uncertain returns. All investing involves the risk of loss. Reference to an index does not imply that any account will achieve returns, volatility, or other results similar to that index. An index’s composition may not reflect how a portfolio is constructed in relation to expected or achieved returns, portfolio guidelines, restrictions, sectors, correlations, concentrations, volatility or tracking error targets, all of which are subject to change. Individuals cannot invest directly in any index. Indices are unmanaged and do not have fees or expense charges which would lower returns. The investments recommended by Horizon Investments are not guaranteed. There can be economic times when all investments are unfavorable and depreciate in value. Clients may lose money. This commentary is based on public information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent that it is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied on as such. Opinions expressed herein are our opinions as of the date of this document. These opinions may not be reflected in all of our strategies. We do not intend to and will not endeavor to update the information discussed in this document. No part of this document may be (i) copied, photocopied, or duplicated in any form by any means or (ii) redistributed without Horizon’s prior written consent. Forward-looking statements cannot be guaranteed. Other disclosure information is available at

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