Markets Rally, S&P 500 Tags All-Time High

"We saw some nice follow-through today after yesterday's strong session, which was a good sign," observed Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "For the second day in a row, banks had solid earnings, with Bank of America Corp ( BAC ) coming through this time with strong results. Also, I was impressed with the Empire State manufacturing data, which came in way better than expected. The horrible jobs number last week has everyone worried about the economy, and rightfully so. Still, this was a nice sign that the economy could be just fine." Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) secured another triple-digit advance, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) tagged record intraday and closing highs.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including


    Wholesale prices spiked in December, the Empire State manufacturing index hit a notable high, and Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) saw a surge in front-month call volume.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,481.94) spent another session in positive territory, and finished 108.1 points, or 0.7%, higher on the day. The Dow's 24 advancers were led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ) -- which gained 3% -- while Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) paced the six laggards with a drop of 0.9%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,848.38) tagged a record intraday peak of 1,850.84 around 1100 a.m. ET, and added 9.5 points, or 0.5%, for the session -- eking out an all-time closing high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,214.88) reached another 13-year intraday peak of 4,218.79, and ended the day with a gain of 31.9 points, or 0.8%.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.28) was parked south of breakeven for much of the session, but ended up finishing flat with yesterday's close.

A Trader's Take

"The SPX hit new all-time highs, and while we all know the index is very overbought, that doesn't mean it has to violently pull back," Detrick said. "There are two ways a market can correct -- in price and in time. Well, it sure looks like the market is correcting in time so far in 2014, which again, is perfectly healthy."

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. The Fed's Beige Book revealed that the U.S. economy grew moderately between late November and the end of December, with the majority of reporting districts noting an uptick in hiring. According to the data, "The economic outlook is positive in most districts, with some reports citing expectations for 'more of the same' and some expecting a pick-up in growth." (Reuters)
  2. The Labor Department said its producer price index (PPI) climbed by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in December, marking the largest monthly advance since June. Meanwhile, core PPI -- which excludes food and energy costs -- rose 0.3%. (MarketWatch)
  3. The Empire State manufacturing index arrived at 12.51 in January, compared to December's reading of 2.22. The latest reading denoted the fastest pace since May 2012, and handily topped consensus estimates. (Nasdaq)
  4. Netflix Inc. (NFLX) received some lukewarm analyst attention this morning, despite the security's longer-term uptrend.
  5. Front-month bulls eyed Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) following news of the firm's settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.


Crude futures advanced again today, thanks to a sharp decline in weekly oil supplies, as well as some promising manufacturing data. The February contract added $1.58, or 1.7%, to end at $94.17 per barrel.

Conversely, gold futures headed south for a second day in a row, as the same manufacturing data and a stronger greenback weighed on the malleable metal. February-dated gold lopped off $7.10, or 0.6%, to close at $1,238.30 an ounce.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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