The major stock indices broke to new highs yesterday following solid gains from the economy and after the FOMC released its latest Policy Statement. The Fed indicated that low interest rates were necessary through 2014. And even though the economy is improving, the Fed left the door open to further monetary stimulus. Financial stocks led with a 3.9% gain, and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) announced that it has increased its quarterly dividend.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 218 points to 13,177, the highest level since May 2008. The S&P 500 gained 24 points at 1,396, its highest level since June 2008. And the Nasdaq rose 56 points to 3,040, its highest since December 2000.
On the NYSE, volume totaled 906 million shares, and 459 million shares traded on the Nasdaq. Advancers exceeded decliners by 4-to-1 on both exchanges.
Stocks broke to new highs yesterday with slightly improving volume, and with 93% of the volume on the NYSE from advancing stocks — a strong indication that institutions were the major investors. Additionally there were 197 new highs versus just eight new lows.
Despite the negative outlook of most small investors, the U.S. stock markets broke to new highs. It bears repeating that the Dow broke to a level not seen since May 2008, the S&P 500 is at a level not seen since June 2008, and the Nasdaq jumped to its highest level since December 2000.
You may not like the reason for the move — whether it be the Fed’s finagling, oil companies’ manipulating the market, or the president claiming that he has brought down unemployment, etc. Whether real or imagined, these were blown away yesterday by the market action itself.
As I noted earlier in the year, we are in a bull market, and yesterday confirmed it. For those who say that the market is expensive, note that yesterday’s RSI is lower than the RSI highs of February.
Throw all of the other technical and fundamental indicators out, because price action always takes precedence, and yesterday told us unequivocally that the trend is up. Yes, there will be corrections as markets always fluctuate. But yesterday, the market gave us an important message: Shelve your negativism and buy stocks. Those who remain negative will be left at the station.
Tomorrow, I’ll provide specific targets for yesterday’s breakouts.
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.