Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Hits Just Keep Coming... Another Record for the Dow

Just a day after a strong rally was derailed midday by discouraging housing news, investors shrugged off more bad news from the residential housing sector and galloped higher, with the Dow making another closing high, nearing 13,500.

Dow 13,487.53 +103.69; NASDAQ 2,547.42 +22.13; S&P 500 1,514.14 +12.95; NYSE Composite 9,825.43 +60.70

The S&P, meanwhile made up most of the losses from the previous four sessions' gyrations and closed at its highest level in more than 6 1/2 years, only 13 points away from an all time high of its own.

As has been noted here before, as long as the Fed remains even-keeled in its approach to interest rates and keeps creating new money out of thin air and debt, this bull run could continue longer than anyone suspects.
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Of course, the naysayers believe that the longer it runs, the worst the final fall will be. Most investors are willing to take that risk right now as corporate profits and merger activity continue unabated.

Adding to the glee chorus on Wednesday was a slight dip in oil prices and word from a possibly dubious source that gasoline prices may not rise much more. According to Guy Caruso of the government's Energy Information Administration: "We do anticipate some improvement in the coming months."

Whether Caruso was expressing improvement for the oil companies or motorists was not clear, though most assume he meant well for US gas consumers. Caruso appeared at a House Judiciary Committee antitrust panel on Capitol Hill that grilled oil execs over the recent and continued price hikes at the pump.

The price of crude oil fell 62 cents to close at $62.55, which seems to be the desired price level of the moment. At the $62-64 level almost everybody - oil companies, OPEC and consumers - is happy, though the argument is that OPEC and Big Oil are more happy than the average Janes and Joes filling their vehicles.

Gold and silver were off sharply. Gold lost $13.00 to $661.50, while silver fell 39 cents to $12.93.

Advancing stocks beat decliners by better than 3-2, and there were 286 new highs to 152 new lows.

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