stock market 2013
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%.
Contrarian Alert: Is This "Investing Jinx" Signaling a Stock Market Crash?
If you're contrarian, then Barron's latest "Big Money" poll and its magazine cover just gave you reasons to be on the lookout for a stock market crash.
The semiannual poll of professional investors found that 74% of money managers are bullish or very bullish about the prospects for U.S. stocks - an all-time high for Big Money, going back more than 20 years.
Barron's drives the point home with its over-the-top cover titled "Dow 16,000!"
But not everyone feels as confident as these polled investors - especially since the issue follows 2013's worst weekly performance for stocks.
"Rule o' Thumb: When the cover of a major financial magazine features a cartoon of a bull leaping through the air on a pogo stick, it's probably about time to cash in the chips," mutual fund owner John Hussman wrote on his Hussman Funds website.
Stock Market 2013: Does January Barometer Signal Dow at 15,140?
The stock market ended January 2013 with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up nearly 6%, the best month since October 2011.
The Dow closed Jan. 31 at 13,860.58, up 5.77% this month. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed at 1,498.11, up 5.04% so far this year.
That's good news for investors. The theory is that the stock market's performance in the first month of the year sets the direction for the following 11 months.
At this rate, evaluating a few market indicators, here's where we could be by 2014.