Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Dow Rockets to Another New High; Other Indices Lag

The Dow made another in an ongoing string of records on Tuesday, gaining 73 points to surpass the previous record (set this past Friday) by 16 points. While the Dow has been enjoying a terrific ride, the other indices - especially the NASDAQ - have lagged, as they did today.

The Dow was at least twice as good on a percentage basis than any of the other indices, making the case that the 30 blue chips are still considered a safe bet in an otherwise turbulent marketplace. Only 7 Dow stocks closed on the downside, most notably Proctor & Gamble (PG), which was bid up yesterday, but dumped today upon the release of the company's 1st quarter report. P&G turned in profits of 74 cents per share, as opposed to 63 cents in the same period of 2006, though the number was short of analysts' expectations and the stock sold off 1.57 on Tuesday.

Dow 13,136.14 +73.23; NASDAQ 2,531.53 +6.44; S&P 500 1,486.30 +3.93; NYSE Composite 9,639.79 +12.06

Advancers led decliners by a slight margin, with just 150 more issues higher than lower. There were 213 new highs and 150 new lows, the closest those have been in more than three weeks.
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The trend is clearly in place for a broader pullback, as evidenced by the internals and yesterday's partial sell-off.

Perhaps the only reason the indices closed higher at all was the lower prices being bid for oil, which closed down for the second straight day. Light crude for June delivery fell 1.31 to $64.40, though the price would have to fall below $60/bbl. and settle there for any realistic relief for both consumers and businesses.

Following that lead, Gold was off 6.20 to $677.30, while Silver lost 21 cents to end the day at $13.37.

At this point, record high closes on the Dow are becoming so commonplace as to lose impact. The run of the blue chip companies has not nearly been matched by the NASDAQ or the S&P 500, reflecting a more challenging environment for mid and small-cap stocks.

The risk of a significant downturn grows with every uptick on the Dow. Buying high is not normally a good idea and it probably isn't at this juncture.

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