Dow Jones Industrial Average
The bears predicting a stock market crash have it all wrong.
So says Jeremy Siegel, finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and author of "Stocks for the Long Run." He predicts the Dow - which closed yesterday (Wednesday) at a new record high 14,455.28 - will continue the bull market run, ending this year in the 16,000 to 17,000 range.
For 2014, he says, the "best bet goal" is the Dow will climb to 18,000.
And the well-known bull has nearly 150 years of data to back up his bold prediction.
Here's why Siegel is so bullish.
The FBI and the SEC Are Cracking Down on People Just Like You
Some people will do anything to make money in the market.
Believe it or not, folks have even resorted to manipulating stocks to fatten their wallets.
And, crazy as this sounds, there are more people doing it than anyone imagined.
Now, I know you'd never do that. But the SEC isn't so sure. Neither is the FBI.
According to yesterday's Financial Times (the pink paper that some financial types read), the FBI is joining forces with the SEC in order to "tackle the potential threat of market manipulation... that [has] taken markets beyond the scope of traditional policing."
What's hilarious to me is that, before the FBI goes looking for market manipulators (like you) along with the SEC, it should be looking at the SEC!
But I digress...
Will the Year of the Snake Bring Another Stock Market Crash?
The Chinese New Year officially began Feb. 10, bringing us the year of the snake - which some investors consider a very bad omen.
Not only does the year of the snake have the worst stock market returns of all zodiac signs, but some of the darkest moments in U.S. history have come during that zodiac year.
Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS AG (NYSE: UBS), appeared on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Monday and even listed the year of the snake as one reason investors should be cautious about stocks.
And there's plenty of history to back up Cashin's statement.
Stock Market Today: Will the Dow Keep Going Above 14,000?
The stock market today (Friday) hit a high not seen in more than five years when the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 14,000 for the first time since October 2007.
Less than an hour into trading the Dow spiked 140 points, or 1%, to hit 14,000.97. In mid-afternoon trading, the Dow rallied further, tacking on 150 points. The move leaves the Dow around 200 points, or 2%, from its all-time high of 14,198.10.
Friday's strong showing came on the heels of the Dow's strongest January (up 5.8%) since 1994.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which logged its best January since 1997, added 15 points, or just shy of 1%. The Nasdaq advanced 40.
The robust rally followed a lackluster report on the job market which gave "strength to the argument that the Fed will continue its bond buying program and keep rates low, which is also a positive for the stock market," Tom Schrader, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus told CNN Money.
That sentiment also gave bonds and precious metals a boost. Gold prices moved up $7 to $1,670. Silver added 37 cents to $31.94
A bevy of reports helped buoy markets Friday.
A Census Bureau report showed construction rose 0.9% in December, well above forecasts. The Institute for Supply Management's monthly manufacturing index rose to 53.1 in January, ahead of the expected 50.5 read, and the University of Michigan's sentiment index climbed to 73.8 last month, better than the expected 71.4.
Is the Obama Stock Market Rally the Real Deal?
At first glance, there can be no doubt that U.S. President Barack Obama has been good for the stock market.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index has rallied by nearly 700 points - just shy of 86% - since the president's first Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009.
This is the best stock market performance for a presidential first term since World War II, even beating the 79.2% rally during President Bill Clinton's first term in the White House, from January 1993 to January 1997.
In fact, the only time stocks rallied more during a presidential first term was during Franklin Roosevelt's first term from March 4, 1933, to Jan. 20, 1937, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 245% off of Depression-era lows.
In a very broad sense, the condition of the stock market at the start of President Obama's first term in 2009 can be compared to the stock market in 1933. In both cases, stock prices had collapsed and were trading at generational lows when both presidents took office. In both cases, share prices rallied substantially off of the bottom as economic conditions improved.
But all this really proves is that the first leg of any rally is usually the strongest and most profitable.
As the S&P 500 is at a five-year high and is zeroing in on the 1,500 level for the third time in its history, one has to wonder if the Obama Rally is sustainable or are we just reverting to the mean?
Stock Market Today: Builders, Banks, Boeing in Focus
The stock market today rose right out of the gate Thursday on improved economic data, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 70 points just before noon, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index up 7.
Giving equities a lift was a pair of reports that showed the U.S. economy continues on the path to recovery.
The Department of Commerce reported Thursday morning that construction for new U.S. homes leapt in December to the highest rate in more than four years. Gains were logged all across the nation, as well as in buildings and single family homes.
The 12.1% jump in housing starts in December was the best reading since June 2008.
"Overall, this report reinforces the current narrative of a positive growth momentum in the housing sector," Millan Mulraine, a macro strategist at TD Securities told Market Watch.
A measure of homebuilders on the S&P 500 jumped 2.1%, poised for the highest closing level since 2007.
The second report that juiced markets was data from the Labor Department. A report revealed the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected in the latest week to the lowest level in five years.
In the week ending Jan. 12, applications for jobless benefits fell by 37,000 to 335,000, marking the lowest level since Jan. 19, 2008, and well below estimates of 369,000.
"The labor market is certainly getting better," Brian Jones, senior U.S. economist at Societe General in New York, told Bloomberg News.
Even with typical seasonal adjustment, Jones added, "this is still a good report. Chances are claims remain at a fairly low level."
Stock Market Today: Can S&P Nudge Closer to its All-Time High?
The stock market today (Friday) will try to continue its impressive rally after the Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed at a five-year high Thursday.
The S&P 500 closed at 1,472.12, about 93 points away from its all-time high of 1,565 hit in October 2007 and its highest close since December of that year.
By 1 p.m., the S&P 500 was down just over 2 points, and the Dow was up 4 points, or 0.04%.
While the stock market today fights for a continued climb, here are companies investors should be eyeing.
Is Harry Dent's Stock Market Crash Prediction as Crazy as it Seems?
Economic forecaster Harry Dent just made another dire prediction, and investors should hope he's wrong.
Dent, bestselling author and financial newsletter writer, told CNBC Tuesday that he sees a stock market crash in the United States starting in the third quarter of 2013 and continuing for a year and a half.
Dent said real estate prices and stocks would plummet more than 60% by the end of 2014, or sooner, meaning the Dow Jones Industrial Average would fall below 6,000. He also said the United States would be close to bankruptcy by then.
Dent cited U.S. demographic shifts and the nation's debt crisis as the main drivers of a crash. He said had it not been for the U.S. Federal Reserve's recent moves to stimulate the economy, the stock market would already have collapsed.
"We call this the economy in a coma," he said. "Basically, without these trillions of dollars of stimulus, we would be in a downturn, in a depression, because we also have $42 trillion in private debt, the greatest debt bubble in history, and that needs to unwind."
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Five Stock Market Charts Bears Have Been Waiting For
As the bull market tries to enter its fifth year, many are wondering if it still has legs - but a handful of stock market charts warn there's high risk of a coming sell off.
In fact, a recent report from Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE ADR: CS) outlined 10 technical factors that show the market is at its most risk-on level since just before the stock market crash that began in 2007's third quarter.
"Many of our tactical indicators point to a consolidation phase in the equity markets, in the near-term," Credit Suisse Global Equity Strategist Andrew Garthwaite said in a note to clients.
For a closer look at this bearish forecast, check out these five stock market charts pointing to a pullback.
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The Best and Worst Stocks of 2012
As we prepare to invest in the New Year, we can learn from the five best and worst performing stocks of 2012 in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
While any investor would have loved to know this list a year ago, it's a good guide for 2013. Several of the factors that drove these share prices up and down in 2012 haven't changed.
The best stocks were led by signs of a recovery in housing, a slight return of consumer confidence, and the U.S. Federal Reserve's unprecedented monetary easing measures.
"The sector leaders are what one would expect with the [Fed] policy and with continued monetary injections into the economy this year through bond purchases," Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at Oakbrook Investments LLC, told The Wall Street Journal. "By pumping money into the economy the Fed boosts consumer confidence-and spending-which one would expect to boost consumer and financial shares."
While the leaders' success was tied to central bank actions, the biggest losers simply stumbled from their lack of innovation, inept management, and failed business models.
Best Stocks of 2012Here are the best performing stocks in the S&P 500 for 2012:
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