ASX 200 nears 5400 — is it too late to buy?

The stock market is sitting at a five-year high, so it's not the right time to buy shares, right? Wrong.

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The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) came close to breaking through the 5400 mark Friday with some of Australia's largest companies, including the major banks, leading the charge.

The benchmark index followed the lead set by the US Dow Jones overnight, which rose on the back of a handful of upbeat corporate earnings reports. Meanwhile, positive Chinese manufacturing data also boosted confidence, with suggestions that the world's second largest economy will reach the government's 7.5% growth target for the year.

Each of the major banks were up ahead of upcoming earnings reports. Westpac (ASX: WBC) and Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) each gained 0.6% whilst ANZ (ASX: ANZ) and NAB (ASX: NAB) were up 1% and 1.3%, respectively. The gains extended to the energy sector with Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) and Santos (ASX: STO) up 2% and 1.8%, and also to Telstra (ASX: TLS), which appreciated 0.9%.

Macquarie Private Wealth investment adviser John Milroy, whose firm maintains a 12-month target of 5570 points, said that "the momentum in this market is very strong" and that "any pullback would be short-lived".

Although the stock market is sitting at a five-year high, there is no reason to wait for a pullback to buy into quality companies with excellent future prospects. After all, the pullback you are waiting for may never come.

Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

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