Looking at graphs can be deceiving. I used to be chief analyst for Europe's equivelant to the MIT media lab and am fascinated by how people respond to data and information. A static graph isn't the way we go through life. So here are the 10 Year rolling returns of the S&P 500 animated. The long term if you will. I threw the PE data for fun. Data is from Shiller.
Note the data is plotted as a semi-log and that looking at single countries data is a limited look at the concept of Equities as it is represents a selection and survivorship bias and compounded by using a sample of 1.