The Dow hit an all-time high today.
First the scoreboard:
Dow: 14,254, +125.9 pts, +0.8 percent
S&P 500: 1,539, +14.5 pts, +0.9 percent
NASDAQ: 3,224, +42.1 pts, +1.3 percent
And now the top stories:
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high today. It also established a new all-time intraday high of 14,198. The S&P 500, however, has a little ways to go before it gets to its October 9, 2007 high of 1,565.
- The U.S. rally really was an extension of the European and Asian market rally, where sentiment reflected a risk-on attitude.
- The good feeling continued when the ISM non-manufacturing (i.e. services) index beat expectations. The headline number unexpectedly increased to 56.0 in February from 55.2 last month. Economists were forecasting the number to decline to 55.0.
- Dave Lutz of Stifel Nicolaus described the ISM report as an "all clear" sign for the economy. He noted that the key component of the report was the new orders index which jumped to 58.2 after falling to 54.4 last month. "Last month the “new orders” index fell to 54.4 from 58.3," he wrote. "That was the weakest reading since April." Lutz said that another drop would've been an ominous sign.
- Despite record highs in the stock market and improving numbers out of the economy, nearly 60 percent of Americans are convinced that the U.S. economy is in recession. This is according to the new IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index.
- In a new note to clients today, the analysts at Societe Generale jumped on the bullish bandwagon. "We believe that 2013 will be a breakout year for the U.S. economy," they wrote. "As this realization sets in and markets begin to price the end of asset purchases and focus on the exit sequence, Treasury yields are likely to bottom out." They described this as a watershed moment.
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