Despite today's opening hiccup, the S&P 500 is up in January and February this year.
This has occurred 26 out 68 since 1945, and each time the S&P finished green for the year, with an average gain of 24%, in a good agreement with:
** I Know First algorithmic system** positive stance on the markets in 2013.
** Morgan Stanley ** also is optimistic on 2013.
The trailing P/E ratio on the S&P 500 (SPY) has creeped up to 15.25 from just above 13 late last spring, writes Bespoke. There's nothing unusual about rising valuations during rallies, they say, but keep it on your radar. Contributing most of late to rising multiples have been Staples (XLP) and Discretionary (XLY), but dividend favorites Telecoms (XTL) and Utilities (XLU) continue to trade at nosebleed (for them) valuations.
The NAAIM Survey of Manager Sentiment rises to 90.15 for the week ended yesterday. A level over 80 is generally considered overly bullish - 88.1 at the end of the year was called "shockingly bullish" by one sentiment watcher. It subsequently rose to 104.25 by the end of January before February's choppiness brought the number down
First-time jobless claims unexpectedly fell by 7,000 to 340,000 in the week ended March 2, the lowest since the period ended Jan. 19, according to data today from the Labor Department in Washington. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 355,000. The four-week average dropped to a five-year low.
Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.16 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.18 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.28 percent at 0948 GMT.
European shares edged up and the euro hovered near three-month lows against the dollar on expectations the European Central Bank could point to future policy easing following its rate-setting meeting on Thursday.
The ECB is expected to hold its interest rates at a record low of 0.75 percent, and investors will be seeking clues about whether the euro zone's central bank is moving towards another cut in rates.
Despite the efforts of the U.S. Federal Reserve to use easy monetary policy to boost jobs, the country's economy is stuck in "neutral" more than three years after the end of the recession, a top Fed official said on Wednesday.
With the Dow Jones Industrial Average today reaching a new all-time high, it's appropriate to step back and put this achievement in a long-term context. What we see is that stocks have delivered about a 7% annualized price return for those willing to be very patient and adopt a buy-and-hold strategy. Including dividends, the S&P 500 has delivered a total annualized return of just over 11% since 1950.
Orders for machinery and other factory goods that signal business investment surged in January, indicating confidence in the economy.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday orders for so-called core capital goods, which also include computers, rose 7.2% from December. It was the biggest gain in more than a year and higher than the initial estimate the government made last week of a 6.3%.
“I am getting worried about a temporary growth scare coming up,” said Nick Raich, CEO of the Earnings Scout, an independent microeconomic research firm specializing in corporate earnings trends in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Earnings growth for the S&P 500 reaccelerated form the third to fourth quarter, but there is going to be a temporary slowdown in first quarter,” he added