There were no notable economic reports or earnings announcements released today. There wasn't a whole lot of action in the markets either.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 15,801.7 (+7.7, +0.0%)
- S&P 500: 1,799.8 (+2.8, +0.1%)
- Nasdaq: 4,148.1 (+22.3, +0.5%)
And now the top stories:
- Today's calm was a welcome one given the recent volatility in the markets. On this quiet day, Raymond James' Jeff Saut offers some poetic investment wisdom: "In the world we live in, few look at risk. Most only look at reward. The few who do look at risk (the educated, the street savvy) make their money at the expense of the great unwashed majority who swallow the noise nonsense about getting rich quick. Investing is a get rich slowly process. You have to put your money at risk in the face of uncertainty. Emotions run rampant before the uncertainty of floating, fluctuating, often violent and volatile markets..."
- But for those who can't resist the prospect of making a short-term buck, veteran market strategist Laszlo Birinyi believes the S&P 500 will be at 1,900 by the second quarter. That represents an ambitious 6% gain from current levels. “We’ve had a little bit of a detour and the road isn’t as smooth as it has been, but we still think the rally is intact,” Birinyi told Bloomberg.
- According to Fannie Mae, 52% of Americans believe it is easy to get a mortgage. This is the highest level seen in the 3½ years Fannie has been conducting this survey. "The gradual upward trend in this indicator during the last few months bodes well for the housing recovery and may be contributing to this month’s increase in consumers’ intention to buy rather than rent their next home , " said Fannie Mae's Doug Duncan.
- Activist investor Carl Icahn said he would stop pressuring Apple into authorizing a $50 billion share buyback. But his efforts weren't a total loss. In an open letter to shareholders, he said "taking into account that the company recently repurchased in “two weeks alone” $14 billion worth in shares, that “for fiscal 2014, it appears on track to repurchase at least $32 billion in shares.” Our proposal, as ISS points out, “thus effectively only asks the board to spend another $18 billion on repurchases in the current year.”"
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