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Stock Market Today Reacts to Merger Monday on Wall Street
It was a muted start for U.S. equities when the stock market today (Monday) opened. But by mid-day, the bulls were back and benchmarks marched higher.
Just before noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13.41, or 0.09%, to 15,354.40. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 2.54, or 0.15%, to 1,670.01. The Nasdaq was higher by 6.42, or 0.18%, to 3,505.39
Year-to-date, the Dow is up 17.17%, the S&P up 16.92% and the Nasdaq 15.88%. Moreover, the number of stocks in the S&P hitting 52-week highs rose to 37.2%, according to Bespoke Investment Group, proof the rally is indeed broad based.
Stock Market Today: Starting the Week in the Red
The stock market today (Monday) paused on news that a U.S. Federal Reserve policy shift may not be as far away as people think.
Just before noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower by 34.22, or 0.23% at 15,084.27. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was flat at 1,632.97. The Nasdaq eked out a 0.02% gain, or 1.08 points, at 3,438.12.
Last week, equities continued their seemingly unstoppable climb with the Dow and the S&P closing at records several times. The Dow ended the week up 1%, the S&P 1.2%, and the Nasdaq 1.7%.
Now with all three indexes up 15% year-to-date, many investors have turned cautions.
Stock Market this Week: Will Dow Soar Past 15,000?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 15,000 Friday – so will the stock market this week see another new high?
Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald joined FOX Business' "Varney & Co." program Monday morning to discuss how much higher the market can go. Listen to Keith's take on what's ahead for investors.
Stock Market Today: What's Next After Dow at 15,000
After record rallies last week took benchmarks to fresh highs, the stock market today took a breather.
Just before noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave back 18.70, or 0.12%, to 14,955.26. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched higher by 1.55, or 0.10%, at 1,615.96. The Nasdaq eked out a 0.28%, or 9 -point gain, at 3,388.14.
Stocks surged Friday after the April jobs report handily beat expectations. The Dow broke 15,000 for the first time, and the S&P surpassed and finished above 1,600. For the week, the Dow added 261 points, or 1.8%, at 14,973.96. The S&P tacked on 32 points, or 2%, at 1,614.42. Helped by tech, the Nasdaq gained 99 points, or 3%, at 3,378.63.
"I think investors got a lift in their step from Friday's jobs report," Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist for Janney Montgomery Scott told CNN Money. "[But] this week, we're absent anything newsworthy."
Indeed, the week's economic calendar is quiet, and earning season is winding down. Notable reports this week include The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) on Tuesday; Dish Network Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH) and Groupon Inc. (Nasdaq: GRPN) on Wednesday; and Priceline.com Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) on Thursday.
While the number of companies that have reported this season nearly doubled from 855 in 2009 to 1,655, the percentage that have beaten estimates remains at the same 59%. Moreover, just 52% have beaten revenue estimates, compared to the average of 60% since the bull market began in 2009, data from Bespoke Investment Group reveals.
That supports the consensus view that the Fed's market-friendly stimulus measures are driving stocks.
But will the gains stick?
For just the sixth time in 30 years, markets were up in January, February, March and April, according to Schaffer Investment Research. May got off to a robust start, but a cache of analysts are warning of a looming pullback.
Stock Market Today: S&P 500 Reaches Record Before May Sell Off Hits
The stock market today (Tuesday) paused after kicking off the week with strong, across-the-board gains that took the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to an all-time closing high.
The S&P rose 11.37 points Monday, or 0.7%, to close at 1,593.61, a hair above the index's April 11 record of 1,593.37. The Nasdaq tacked on 27.76 points, or 0.8%, to 3307.02, its highest close since 2000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 106.20 points, or 0.7%, to 14818.75, inching closer to the anticipated 15,000 milestone.
Shortly before noon Tuesday, stocks took a breather. The Dow dipped 32.62 points, or 0.22%, at 14,786.13. The S&P slipped 1.95, or 0.12%, at 1,591.66. The Nasdaq notched a gain of 5.2%, or 0.16%, at 3,312.
As markets march into May, trading is expected to slow. The old "sell in May and go away" adage has many preaching caution. Bespoke Investments reports two of the ten worst months of May in S&P's history have occurred during the current bull market (2010 and 2012).
Stock Market Today: April Set to Continue 2013 Winning Streak
U.S. equities followed Europe's lead and headed higher when the stock market today (Monday) opened.
Wall Street's mood was lifted after Enrico Letta was sworn in as Italy's prime minister, ending weeks of political gridlock in the ailing European nation. The news also propelled Italian stocks up more than 1%.
Shortly before noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 68.55 points, or 0.47%, at 14,781.10. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index was higher by 8.59, or 0.54%, at 1,590.83. The Nasdaq climbed 26.72, or 0.81% at 3,305.98.
Another lift to the stock market today came from a report on March consumer spending. The read was 2%, much better than and 0.1% rise economists had expected and up from a 0.7% gain in February and a 0.4% advance in January.
With just two more trading sessions left in the month, U.S. stocks are set to end April with gains. That would mark the fourth consecutive positive month for equities.
But it's about that time when the familiar spring swoon weighs on stocks in the near term.
According to data from Bespoke Investment Group, over the past 30 years, an investor who bought the S&P 500 Index every Oct. 31 and sold the following April 30 would have reaped a 898% gain. In contrast, buying every April 30 and selling every late October would have returned just 56%.
Stock Market Today: Don't Miss These Earnings Reports
Coming off the worst week of the year, U.S. equities were mixed in the stock market today (Monday) at we kick off a big week for earnings.
In mid-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 14.19, or 0.10%, at 14,533.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 2.50, or 0.22%, to 1,558.93.
The Nasdaq was up 20.17, or 0.63%, to 3,226.23.
Gold, which lost 7%, or $105.70 a troy ounce last week, was down 20 cents, to $1,426.30.
Stocks to Buy: This Defense Winner is in a Class of Its Own
If you think the sequester has taken all defense companies off the "stocks to buy" list, think again.
Indeed, there has been a cloud over defense stocks for some time thanks to the automatic spending cuts. The Department of Defense has to reduce its budget by $47 billion by the end of the summer.
That is in addition to almost $500 billion of cuts over the next decade that was passed back in 2011. All of the budget proposals currently circling Capitol Hill include additional cuts to defense spending.
Companies that work with the military and other defense agencies are feeling the pinch and many of their stock prices have reflected that.
But the truth is, while cuts will be made to some of the bigger, flashier programs, the military will still be in the business of protecting the country. Not all companies will slow spending.
And any industry that sees the type of investor distaste that has swept over defense frequently sees a wave of consolidation and takeover activity that lifts the valuation of companies in the sector.
That means it's time to go hunting for some undervalued stocks in defense.
Here's one we like.
The Best-Performing Commodity of 2013 is Just Heating Up
Gold and silver are in the midst of an ugly selloff, but the best performing commodity of 2013 continues to ramp up.
Believe it or not, it's natural gas.
After increasing 1.2% Wednesday, natural gas prices now stand around $4.20/mmbtu- up more than 120% from a year ago and almost 30% this year alone.
The good news for natural gas investors is that there are still plenty of reasons why natural gas will continue its recent run.
Why the "Smart Money" in Japan is Investing in Gold
Tokuriki Honten Co., the country's second-largest gold retailer, reported Tuesday that Japanese investors doubled their gold purchases this week from the week before.
And Reuters reported how 63-year-old Yujiro Yamashita traveled to Tokyo's Ginza district to buy gold for the first time in 20 years.
It's thanks to fears stemming from Japan's new monetary easing, known as "Abenomics."