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Trader Scott Gueli reacts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 4, 2014. U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday with the S&P 500 closing at a record high.
Trader Scott Gueli reacts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 4, 2014. U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday with the S&P 500 closing at a record high.
(Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Cheap stocks aren’t what they appear to be

If you are trying to determine whether stocks are cheap or expensive after a five-year bull market, you are up against a formidable obstacle: confusion over earnings.

The S&P 500 has risen 183 per cent since 2009, making it one of the most impressive long-term rallies in recent history. But the rally is also leaving many observers wondering how long the good times can last.