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According to David Gaffen at the WSJ and Strategas Research this bear is actually shorter than your average bear:

Strategists at Strategas Research Partners point out that since the 1937 bear market, on average, bear markets have lasted 20 months, and the current one has been running for just 17 months. They date the beginning of the bear to Oct. 9, 2007, when the S&P peaked.

On another level, this bear has surpassed most. Through March 9, 2009, the S&P had lost nearly 57% of its value, a larger decline than any bear since the 1937-1942 bear market, which saw the S&P lose 60% of its value. That downturn’s length – 62 months – has not been surpassed since, with the next longest being the 37-month and 31-month bear markets that began in 1946 and 2000, respectively.

Strategas investment strategist Christopher Verrone, in commentary, says that the market’s sharp rally has been largely technical in nature, mostly the function of short-covering. Discretionary stocks and financials have led the way, and those sectors ranked first and second, respectively, in terms of sector short interest as a percentage of overall float.

The worst economic downturn in 80 years is going to result in a shorter than average bear market?  Don’t bet on it….