Stocks followed the usual Monday trading pattern of opening lower, but the pattern of closing lower on Mondays was broken. Stocks turned sharply higher after the first 30 minutes and closed higher. For the Dow industrials it was the seventh straight advance, and it brought the S&P 500 to within 10 points of its all-time closing high.
But volume on the NYSE was the second lowest of the year, in part because there were no major economic reports. And headline news was focused on local rather than national and international issues.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had gained 50 points to 14,447, the S&P 500 gained 5 points at 1,556, and the Nasdaq rose 9 points to 3,253. The NYSE traded 598 million shares and the Nasdaq crossed 356 million. Advancers led decliners by 1.5-to-1 on the Big Board and by 1.1-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
The slow plod of stocks inching higher has driven the so-called “fear index” to its lowest level in over six years. One bored trader even referred to the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) as the “wimp indicator,” which most likely means that he is out of the market or even worse — short.
Having finally surmounted the 2000 peak of 1,552.87, the S&P 500 is now within sight of its 2007 all-time high at 1,576.09 and its closing high of 1,565.15. And it closed Monday within 9 points of that all-time closing high.
Conclusion: Monday’s tape action with low volume but broad participation was one of the most boring days of the year. Despite the fact that all trends are now pointing higher and the Dow industrials broke into all-time high ground for the fifth straight record day, the lack of high volume and excitement are, to this old trader, well, a bit disappointing. Where are the party hats and champagne?
The Wall Street saying, “Never sell a dull market short,” has maybe never had as much impact as it has in the last several weeks. Now, will everyone please get aboard and make a party of it!?!
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.