On Monday, stocks were driven higher for the fourth straight session, and it was all about Apple (AAPL). Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at a record high as a distribution deal between Apple and China Mobile (CHL) pushed the technology sector higher.
Apple gained 3.8% after it announced that China Mobile would sell iPhones through the world’s biggest network of mobile phone users. It was estimated that the deal could add billions of dollars to Apple’s revenues. Because of Apple’s huge capitalization, it helped drive the S&P 500 and Nasdaq higher and had a massive influence on the technology sector and the suppliers of components to Apple.
Facebook (FB) also helped lift both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 by jumping 4.8% on its first day of trading as an S&P 500 component.
U.S. stocks got another boost from an unlikely source — an International Monetary Fund (IMF) representative who said that the organization was raising its forecast for U.S. economic growth. The IMF had pegged growth at 2.5% in October, but did not say what the new growth forecast would be.
At Monday’s close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 73 points to 16,295, the S&P 500 gained 10 points at 1,828, and the Nasdaq jumped 44 points to 4,149. Total volume fell to about 4.6 billion shares versus 6.49 billion average shares per day so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets. This is due to the Christmas holiday week when many brokers and dealers take the week off since markets will close early today and be closed on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Transportation Average finally confirmed what all of us already knew: The bull market is alive and well and prices are headed higher. The index officially registered a new Dow Theory buy signal by achieving a new intraday high at 7,354.79, eclipsing the old high of 7,324 made on Dec. 2.
The Nasdaq executed a breakaway gap through the bullish resistance line that marked the highs throughout the year. This is an extremely bullish development that could lead to a new bull channel with a steeper slope.
Conclusion: Lighter holiday volume could cause greater volatility, and so more days like Monday could occur through the remainder of the year. But volatility works both ways, and so don’t be shaken from solid positions if we get a big day of profit-taking. Instead, use pullbacks as buying opportunities. Have a wonderful Christmas. The Daily Market Outlook will return on Friday, Dec. 27.
Today’s Trading Landscape
To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.
For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.