The stock market set record highs on Friday.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,390.1, +194.7, (+1.1%)
- S&P 500: 2.018.0, +23.3, (+1.1%)
- Nasdaq: 4,630.7, +64.6, (+1.4%)
And now, the top stories on Wednesday:
1. The rally really began in Japan when two pieces of news crossed. First, Nikkei reported that Japan’s $US1.2 trillion behemoth Government Pension Investment Fund would ramp up its exposure to foreign and domestic stocks. Second, the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced a big boost to its quantitative-easing stimulus program. The Nikkei went bonkers, surging 4.8% to close at a seven-year high.
2. The US had some good economic news. The University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index unexpectedly jumped to 86.0 in October from 84.6 a month ago. The Chicago PMI unexpectedly spiked to a 12-month high of 66.2 in October from 60.5 in September. “The bounceback in the Barometer marks a solid start to Q4 and suggests that against a backdrop of concerns about weakening growth in Europe and China, the US economy is still growing firmly,” ISM-Chicago said in its release.
3. In a sign of labour market tightness, the employment cost index jumped 0.7% in Q3. “This is the fastest pace of quarterly compensation that we have seen since late 2008,” BNP Paribas’ Bricklin Dwyer noted. “The measure popped up to 2.2% y/y, accelerating from the previous 10-month’s 1.8-2.0% range.”
4. The stock market has been on an absolute wild ride in the last two months. It went from its all-time intraday high of 2,019 on Sept. 19 (all-time closing high 2,011.36 on Sept. 18) down its Oct. 15 low of 1,820.66. The Dow set an intraday all-time high of 17,395 today.