On Tuesday, United Health Group provided the heavy upside lifting in the markets. Yesterday, it was beaten-down IBM that accounted for an astounding 92 upside points after its report that highlighted its best performance since January 2009. In addition, GS made a strong recovery from the beating that it took the day before. So, the DOW has been higher for 4 days in a row and 13 out of the past 16 while the S&P has been up for 14 out of the past 17 sessions.

Yesterday, the Dow ended higher by 160 to 23,157 for its 51st record this year. The S&P was up by 2 points to a record of 2561. The NASDAQ ended Wednesday with a gain of 5 because of sluggish action in AMZN, BIDU and NFLX while PCLN and TSLA did well.

One of the reasons for the latest upside push is that third-quarter earnings are coming in above expectations with 81% beating on the profit side while 73% beating on revenues for the 60 or so S&P companies that have already reported.

The big day finally arrived today…the 30th anniversary of Black Monday 1987…the stock market’s one-day worst ever in history. Even with the endless blah-blah from the “experts” pontificating and giving us their brilliant insights, the markets today were down early, flat in the middle and mixed by small amounts at the closing bell. The DOW gained 5, the S&P 500 was up a fraction, and the NASDAQ lost 19 points today.

This market malaise was an example of looking for something to use as an “excuse” to sell. Investors pointed to the fact that China’s third-quarter G.D.P. came in at only a gain of 6.8% compared to the 6.9% during the first half of the year. I really don’t see the tragedy in this statistic.  Investors and analysts looked to Spain where the central government tried to put the screws on the Catalonia region in order to thwart their independence desires. This standoff has absolutely nothing to do with our stock prices here.

The overall bull market is now in its 101st straight month. This compares to the average length of 59 months for the 11 bull markets since 1949. It is now the second longest bull market in history trailing only the 1987-2000 period.

Donald M. Selkin

Don Selkin is the Chief Market Strategist at Newbridge Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC and provides the Fair Value analysis for CNBC each morning.  The commentary provided in this Market Letter is intended to provide timely market analysis and should not be considered a research report.  This Market Letter may contain, and is limited to: Discussions of broad based indices; Commentaries on economic, political or market conditions; Technical analyses concerning the demand and supply for a sector, index or industry based in trading volume and price; Statistical summaries of multiple companies’ financial data, including listings of current ratings; and, Recommendations regarding increasing or decreasing holdings in particular industries or securities.  This Market Letter does not make a financial or investment recommendation or otherwise promotes a product or service of the firm.  This Market Letter contains only news, facts, and commentary on information previously reported from a news source believed to be accurate and reliable by the author.  These news sources include the following: Bloomberg Financial, Reuters, and the Associated Press. These are excerpts from Don Selkin’s Daily Market Notes, abbreviated and updated with permission from the author.