BRAND NEW HIGH FOR THE S&P 500: Here's What You Need To Know

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Photo: vmiramontes via Flickr

The Dow couldn’t clear 13k.  But, the S&P 500 closed at its highest level since June 2008.First, the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,982.9, -1.7, -0.0%
S&P 500: 1,365.7, +2.2, +0.1%
NASDAQ: 2,963.7, +6.7, +0.2%

And now, the top stories:

  • It was relatively quiet overseas today.  There were various economic data releases in both Asia and Europe, but nothing too material to the US trading session.  There will, however, be some interest in the discussions that will occur at this weekend’s G20 meeting in Mexico City.  Certainly, the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies will discuss Greece and the possibility of a default.  We will be particularly interested in hearing what they have to say about the IMF’s willingness to bail out Europe.  Here’s Citi’s Credit Ratings Outlook For Every Advanced Economy In The World >
  • We got two important reads on the U.S. economy today.  According to the final read of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index, consumer sentiment jumped to 75.3, beating economists’ expectations for 73.  The last time this reading was above 75 was in February 2011.
  • New home sales came in at 321k in January, which was higher than the 315k level that economists were expecting.  However, the direction of sales was not great.  Because December’s number was revised up to 324k from a previous reading of 307k, the January reading reflected a 0.9 per cent decline versus the 2.6 per cent increase that economists were hoping for.  This Fantastic Presentation Has Everything You Need To Know About The Housing Market And Why It Has Bottomed >
  • One of the worst performing stocks in the S&P 500 today was Gap.  The clothing retailer, which also operates Old Navy and Banana Republic, announced better-than-expected Q4 earnings.  However guidance was weak.  Gap’s CFO mentioned that usage of its private label credit card had jumped significantly in 2011, but would likely level off this year.
  • This weekend we hear from Warren Buffett via Berkshire Hathaway’s annual letter to shareholders.  Follow its release on Money Game.
  • The S&P 500 cleared its April 2011 closing high of 1363.  The last time S&P was at the current level was back in June 2008.  That’s not nothing.
  • Don’t Miss: 13 Ways To Cash In On Water >

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