Stocks are quietly making their move back to all-time record highs.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,154.3 (+126.7, +0.7%)
- S&P 500: 1,838.6 (+8.7, +0.4%)
- Nasdaq: 4,244.0 (+3.3, +0.0%)
And now the top stories:
- Despite what many would consider bad news, the stock market has resumed its march toward record highs. After pulling back by 6% in recent weeks, the S&P 500 is now just 1% away from setting a new all-time high.
- Earlier today, we learned industrial production unexpectedly fell 0.3% in January, which was much worse than the 0.2% gain expected. Manufacturing production saw its worst drop since 2009. “Manufacturing output fell 0.8% and drilling and mining 0.9%, but the Fed said the weakness was “partly because of the severe weather that curtailed production in some regions of the country, leading to weather-related plant closures and disruptions at oil and gas drilling facilities,” noted Morgan Stanley’s Ted Wieseman. Demand for heating caused utility output to jump by 4.1%.
- The University of Michigan’s monthly consumer confidence index registered at 81.2 in February, which was better than the 80.2 reading expected by economists. The economic conditions sub-index fell to 94.0 from 96.8, while the economic outlook sub-index advanced to 73.0 from 71.2. Inflation expectations also ticked up. “Overall, this report is broadly in line with our expectation that consumer sentiment will remain on a gradual upward trend throughout the year as housing and labour markets continue to improve,” said Barclays’ Cooper Howes.
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