Greetings from Shanghai! I recently arrived in China’s commercial center, and the weather here is finally getting nicer, with sunny skies and warmer temperature.
Meanwhile, stocks are warming up, too. The U.S. market had its biggest day of the year on Tuesday, when a strong rally in financial stocks pushed the Dow to its highest close since the last day of 2007. The Federal Reserve announced that 15 of the 19 major banks it surveyed passed its “stress test” meant to see how they would perform in another financial crisis. In addition, with an economic recovery taking place, rising asset values will improve the balance sheet of banks tremendously.
The biggest contributor to the recent surge in the S&P 500 as well as the Nasdaq is, of course, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The company hit a market cap of $550.55 billion, making it the most valuable company in market in U.S. stock market history.
Another other U.S. company that surpassed the $500 billion mark in market cap was Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), back in 2000 when the Nasdaq briefly surpassed 5,000. But Cisco’s valuation back then was nearly 10 times as expensive as Apple is today.
With the new iPad rollout, which has seen such strong demand that pre-orders sold out worldwide and new shipments were delayed, I expect to see more earnings growth for the company. Given the huge surge in Apple recently, it would be prudent to wait for the stock to pull back a bit before buying more. Yet I still see further upside later in the year for the stock.
Although I remain bullish on the broad market this year, I think it has gotten a bit ahead of itself lately. But there continues to be too much money on the sideline, so any pullback likely will be shallow as the U.S. recovery continues and eurozone woes are postponed by quantitative easing.