We all saw it.
Barron's April 20 cover showed a cartoon bull on a pogo stock, with the exclamation "Dow 16,000!"
So what's the investor takeaway - are we all in to 16,000, or is it a contrarian signal to watch out for a looming market pullback?
Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald joined FOX Business Network's "Varney & Co." program to answer that question.
Watch the following interview with Fitz-Gerald to find out.
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.
Stock Market Today Reacts to China and Gold
Disappointing news that China's economic growth slowed in the first quarter sent the stock market today (Monday) reeling.
Just before noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.61% to 14,773.75. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index slumped 0.75% to 1,576.87. The Nasdaq fell 0.80% to 3,268.45. Oil slipped 3.44% to $88 a barrel.
And the biggest loser of the day, gold plunged as much as 6.3%, hitting a low of $1,384.60.
Dragging stocks down was a report that China's economy grew at 7.7% in Q1, weaker than the 8% growth economists were expecting, and down from Q4's 7.9%. This rattled global markets, as fears spread that there would be continued lower demand for Chinese goods and services.
"The international situation continues to concern people, both in regard to Europe and China," John Carey, a fund manager for Pioneer Investment Management Inc., told Bloomberg News. "People are watching for some signs of improvement in both areas. Otherwise we're just in the early stages of earnings season, so people will have one eye on what's going on outside the U.S. and another close eye on what's happening with regard to earnings."
More than 75 members of the S&P 500 are scheduled to report earnings this week. Here are some to watch, along with the biggest headline makers in the stock market today.
The Ugly Truth About Bail-ins, Magic Wands and Con Men
Last week, I was emailed a link to Barry Ritholtz's "The Big Picture" site.
That's where David R. Kotok, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Cumberland Advisors, posted a piece on the "bail-in" of Cypriot banks, versus the bailout fixes that we're used to seeing.
As it was an email, a lot of people were copied on it. And a lot of them hit "Reply All," and forwarded their reactions and comments.
I read everyone's responses.
No one had any clue about what's really going on, or how to fix the banking mess the world faces, or whether bailouts or bail-ins are the answer.
Myself? I got really angry.
How to Beat Wall Street at Its Own Game
I'm a voracious reader. And I'm also a relentless networker.
In this business, I have to be. I need to see and hear as much as possible in order to form the opinions, forge the recommendations and assemble the market intelligence that enables us to help you pull down big profits.
Creating Private Briefing made it even easier for me to do all that for you.
Now I have direct, daily access to six of the most impressive investment gurus you're ever going to find - folks like Keith Fitz-Gerald, a globe-trotting expert and best-selling author with decades of experience in international markets ... or Peter Krauth, the natural resources expert who's so serious about his work that he lives in Canada to be close to the companies he covers ... or Martin Hutchinson, who has actually been hired by countries to fix their economies.
Let me tell you a quick story that shows why this matters. And after that we'll take a look at some investing strategies we think you need to consider - especially right now, with the market in record territory.
These are strategies that will allow you to keep pursuing profits on your existing holdings, to add new positions at prices that will help you extract the maximum-possible returns, and to protect all of your holdings against a possible correction.
So let's start with my story.
Stock Market: Q1 Was One for the Record Books, So What's Next?
The U.S. stock market logged an impressive first quarter.
Shrugging off budget cuts, tax hikes, and more Eurozone misery, U.S. stocks climbed to record territory on several occasions.
On March 5, the Dow broke through its record close of 14,165, previously hit Oct. 9, 2007. Meanwhile, the S&P has been flirting with its 1,565 record high for weeks.
The most recent milestones came Thursday when the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at yet another record, and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index finally closed above its all-time high.
Thursday closed out Q1 with the Dow adding 52.38 points, or 0.36%, to close at 14,578.54. The S&P tacked on 6.34, or 0.41%, to close at 1,569.19.
Here's a look at the quarter's biggest gains and losses, as well as what investors should do now as we head into April.
With Another Stock Market Record in Reach, Here's What to Do Now
It's time for some insight.
I'm constantly asked where I think the stock market is going next. Since the Dow recently reached new highs and the S&P 500 is pushing its old October 2007 highs, it's no wonder that's the question on everyone's mind and lips.
My answer is: I don't know where it's going. But I do know what to do about it.
Here's the thing...
Don't Ignore Meredith Whitney's Bullish Market Call
Meredith Whitney, the prominent banking analyst known for making aggressive bearish calls, just made a strikingly bullish call on U.S. stocks.