Daily Ticker

There’s More to This Market Rally Than Meets the Eye

Markets pulled back slightly on Wednesday morning with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and the S&P 500 Index (GSPC) hovering near their all-time highs.

The Dow ended Tuesday's session above 15,000 for the first time and the S&P finished at 1,625.96, its fourth straight record close. The Dow hit an all-time intraday high at 15,056.67 on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 touched a record intraday high at 1,626.03. Both indices have gained more than 14% since Jan. 1.

U.S. markets may be reaching unprecedented levels but so are other global markets. Strong Chinese data and better-than-expected German industrial production in March have pushed the MSCI’s world index (which tracks stocks in 45 countries) to a five-year high.

Related: Nikkei Surges 50%: Japanese Revival a "Potentially Serious Opportunity," Roach Says

Easy money policies pursued by global central banks may be contributing to the market rally but that’s not the entire reason for the rise in stocks, says Yahoo! Finance’s Senior Columnist Michael Santoli.

“There’s a fundamental element here as well,” Santoli tells The Daily Ticker’s Aaron Task in the accompanying clip.

Related: Pimco's El-Erian: Fed Is Artificially Inflating Asset Prices in "Most Unloved Market Rally"

“Consumer deleveraging has probably run its course,” Santoli notes, citing the increase in auto loans and mortgage refinancing applications.

Another sign that a growing percentage of U.S. consumers are feeling more confident about the economy and markets: higher attendance at Disney theme parks. Disney (DIS) reported Tuesday that its quarterly profit last quarter climbed 32% to $1.51 billion from a year ago and operating income at the company’s Park and Resorts division was $383 million – a 73% increase.

Related: The "Most Overpriced, Oversupplied, Over-owned Market in History"

The big question in the back of investors’ minds is whether markets can continue their upward trajectory. Stocks won’t crash but could flat-line in the near future, Santoli says. Even so, things are getting better under the surface to justify some of the gains, Task adds.

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