The stock market ended last week at close to its highest point of the year. The S&P 500 closed just 12 points from its high, and the Nasdaq finished at its highest level since September 2000.
Even though foul weather in much of the country kept shoppers home, analysts point to a growing economy and predict a resurgence of retail sales when conditions clear. And new Fed Chair Janet Yellen comforted investors by noting that the easy money policies of the past are going to stay in place.
Stocks opened lower on Friday following a report that showed a decline in industrial production. But they turned up following news that the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index held at 81.2 this month where a decline was anticipated.
At the close on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 127 points to 16,154, the S&P 500 rose 9 points to 1,839, and the Nasdaq gained 3 points at 4,244. NYSE primary market volume totaled 622 million shares with total volume of 3.1 billion shares. Nasdaq total volume was 1.8 billion shares. Advancers outpaced decliners by 2-to-1 on the Big Board and by 1.1-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 rose 2.3%, and the Nasdaq gained 2.9%.
A bullish “V” has formed on the Nasdaq following a monstrous seven-day rally from the low at 3,968 on Feb. 5.
The rally has broken the resistance at the Nasdaq’s 13-year closing high of 4,243, but not its absolute intraday high of 4,246.55 made on Jan. 22. The formation is similar to the June rally that gave the Nasdaq a more aggressive angle to its bullish channel and resulted in a gain of over 28%.
Conclusion: Like last year, the Nasdaq is leading the other indices in short-term price appreciation. Below-average volume can be excused by the poor weather and the upcoming shortened holiday week.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 (see Friday’s chart) tacked on 8.8 points on Friday, putting it 12 points from a new high. With the path of least resistance pointing higher, and with mid caps and some large caps in a position to break from their current patterns, stocks should easily poke through the light overhead and make a big score.
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.