The bull market celebrated its fifth birthday today, and it was a happy one.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,423.5 (+63.3, +0.3%)
- S&P 500: 1,877.4 (+3.6, +0.1%)
- Nasdaq: 4,354.3 (-3.6, -0.0%)
And now the top stories:
- The S&P 500 is up 180% since its March 6, 2009 low. “Should this bull market celebrate its sixth birthday, and perform similarly to prior sixth-year bulls, we could be up another 26% to beyond 2340,” said S&P Capital IQ’s Sam Stovall earlier this week. “As always, use history as a guide, not gospel, especially since there has been a limited number of sixth-year bulls.”
- Initial unemployment claims fell to 323,000 during the week ending March 1, which was better than the 336,000 expected by economists. This brought the 4-week moving average down to 336,500. “While the Labour Department suggested that the fluctuations in claims coincide with winter storms, the gradual improvement in the 4-week moving average of claims remains a positive development,” said TD Securities’ Gennadiy Goldberg. “The modest improvement in claims should continue to signal that further declines in claims should help push nonfarm payrolls back into the 175-225K range over the coming months.”
- According to the Federal Reserve’s Q4 2013 Z1 flow of funds report, household net worth rose 2.8% or $US2.95 billion to $US80.55 trillion. “In our view, the rising values of real estate and financial assets have boosted consumption in recent quarters,” said Barclays’ Cooper Howes. “Because our models suggest that these effects operate with a lag, we expect wealth effects to continue to serve as a tailwind to consumption in the coming quarters.”
- The Bureau of Labour Statistics publishes its February U.S. jobs report on Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists estimate companies added 150,000 nonfarm payrolls during the month.
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