Friday, January 25, 2013

Stocks at Multi-Year Highs: Tide Detergent as Currency

The S&P closed today at it's highest level since the fall of 2007, a more than five-year-high, breaching the psychological 1500 level at the close of trading. That left the S&P with an eight-day winning streak, the longest since 2004, prompting claims by pundits and analysts that the market was just beginning a new supercycle bull market.

All snickering aside, a massive bull run on top of what has been one of the longest straight-up bull markets without a significant, sustained correction (46 months and counting), is a call that only the masters of the money universe on Wall Street could make with a straight face.

Whatever side of the trade you're on - and if you're short, you're dead - there's little doubt that four years of ZIRP and constant money printing by the Federal Reserve has finally yielded the desired results" a runaway risk asset market in stocks forcing forgetfulness about risk and the all-time high in consumer credit. The new bubble has been blown and American consumers are seemingly content to blow it until it bursts.

Coupled with the nascent recovery in housing, stocks as an asset class have proven the darlings of hedge funds, pension funds and evryone except the individual investor, whose memory still appears to be focused on the crash of 2008 and continuing uncertainty in the general economy.

Like it or not, however, Wall Street is enjoying one of the best runs of increases ever - not just this January, but throughout the four-plus years since the painful crash.

It's enough to prompt the fearful to get back in the game, though, with indices approaching all-time highs, it just doesn't seem a prudent entry point.

And, just in case you're not up on ghetto culture, laundry detergent - specifically Tide, made by Proctor & Gamble - has become the new currency of choice, a 150-ounce bottle redeemable on the street for $5 cash or $10 worth of weed or crack cocaine.

In the right circles, America's most popular detergent goes by the moniker, "liquid gold," and a crime spree of national magnitude has retailers locking down bottles of the stuff and putting additional security guards on patrol in the aisles.

Dow 13,895.98, +70.65(0.51%)
NASDAQ 3,149.71, +19.33(0.62%)
S&P 500 1,502.96, +8.14(0.54%)
NYSE Composite 8,904.53, +47.95(0.54%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,932,190,500
NYSE Volume 3,653,707,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3788-2649
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 540-21
WTI crude oil: 95.88, -0.07
Gold: 1,656.60, -13.30
Silver: 31.21, -0.516

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